Garden of the Gods, IL · Big Foot Statue, IL · Tunnel Hill, IL · Jeremey “Boo” Rochman Memorial Dungeon & Dragon Playground, IL · Marion Campground & RV Park, IL

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May 11th 2022
Published: May 12th 2022
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We headed out for a long day. We began with an hour drive to Garden of the Gods in Illinois coined the “Grand Canyon” of Illinois. We spent half the day exploring the observation trail. The trail is made of natural sandstone, has many high cliffs, and opportunities for photo. Nate and Daisy really enjoyed climbing over and under the large stones. I would suggest wearing bug spray and sunscreen. After this we drove down to the General Outpost to enjoy a cold treat and pictures with Big Foot Statue and the Big Foot Family Carvings.

We went back to the trailer for lunch and quick visit with our puppies. Then we headed to the Tunnel Hill bike trail that takes you along an abandoned railway. I really believe that Nate could have spent an entire day playing in the tunnel. He loved making funny sounds and singing due to the acoustics in the tunnel. He also spent a great deal of time making fun of all the graffiti in the tunnel. I have to say that I enjoyed the lower temperatures in the tunnel itself because Illinois is having record high temperatures today. Even the area leading in and out of the tunnel is nice and cool. I was able to photograph a tiny yellow finch near the tunnel opening and we saw a bunny hopping around near the bike path. We road downhill to the Breeden Trestle bridge and unfortunately back up hill to return to the truck. We were a little bit worn at this point, but still had a little bit of fuel in our tanks.

To complete our long day, we visited Jeremy “Boo” Rochman Dungeons and Dragons playground. This private park was created to honor the memory of Jeremy “Boo” Rochman, who was tragically killed in a car accident at the young age of 19. The park includes a castle, wizards, warriors, massive sleeping dragon, and a griffon. Very cool and whimsical fantasy land.

We decided to finally go out to a nice dinner, this is when Nate lost the cap to his tooth. Hey trips can’t be all fun. We were very fortunate that Nate was able to find a local dentist in the area that takes his insurance and would get him in the next morning. We were also blessed that the campground we were staying at allowed us to stay on our site pass check out for Nate to attend his dentist visit.

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