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Now we’ve been there… done that!!!

Tuesday 7/1/2014

Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park

Lena, Il

Friday, 6/27, Terri and I packed up, said our “see ya laters” to Rick & Gail, and headed out for another “big” (about 12 miles/20 minutes) trip back to Prairie Pines in Rantoul, IL, for three nights.

We were in site # 1, which is a pull-through site with full hookups and a very clear view of the southern sky for DirecTv.
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This is a view of our “backyard.”

We came back here because the RV park where we were staying was all booked up for the weekend due to a big annual Corvette show in Champaign, IL.  We chose not to attend the show due to the $20 admission price.  But we were able to see a couple of Corvettes at D&W Lake.  Here’s one of them.

Terri had a follow-up appointment with her ophthalmologist Friday afternoon.  Her eye is looking better, but she must continue applying the antibiotic ointment every six hours for two more weeks.  Another doctor visit is scheduled in about ten days.  The shingles are drying up and disappearing, and her forehead is looking much better.

Our travel plan was to leave Prairie Pines Monday morning and meet up with Rick & Gail at the rest area near Paw Paw, IL, and then travel together up to Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park.  Terri and I got a later start than planned due to an early morning thunder storm.  There were more severe thunder storms predicted for later in the afternoon at Lake Le-Aqua-Na, so Rick & Gail decided to go on ahead without us in order to get set up before the storm arrived.

We finally left Prairie Pines about 11 A.M. and travelled for about two hours to the Flying J near La Salle, IL.  Terri said her eye was starting to bother her a bit, but she was okay to continue.  By the time we reached the rest area near Paw Paw, IL, she needed to stop.  At this point she was about a couple hours late on the ointment treatment, so she went ahead and did that and then just rested her eyes for a while.  A little later we decided to take a test drive up the interstate with the car, leaving the rig at the rest area.  She wanted to check to see how her vision was while driving.  We got back and decided it would be best not to continue.  Shabbona Lake State Park is not too far away, so we decided to go see if we could get in there for the night.  I took over the driving chores, and we again left the rig behind at the rest area.  We drove up to Shabbona to check out the campground.  There were plenty of sites available, but most were either too small or too difficult to get into.  So we decided to stay overnight at the rest area and boondock for our first time!

Earlier when Terri was resting her eyes, I was checking out the rest area for a “good” place to park.  There were two spots, one at the north end where we could put our bedroom slide out over the grass, or a spot right next to a handicap parking place that would give us a bit of space on one side.  We decided to park next to the handicap parking.  I quickly moved the rig before someone else parked there!  This is a picture of the “lodge” (restrooms and vending machines) located in front of us.

Shortly after moving, another 5th wheel pulled in right next to us and they headed into the “lodge” for a few minutes.  We were standing outside trying to decide if this was really what we wanted to do.  Just 24 miles south was Hickory Hollow where we have stayed before, but we decided we really didn’t want to backtrack that far… and we didn’t know if Terri could make it, not to mention the quickly approaching storms.   Soon the couple next to us came back out, and he approached us to ask if we were staying overnight.  They were hoping we would so they could safely put their slides out.  After talking with this nice couple from Minnesota, we all decided to stay overnight.  We only put our right side living room slide out which allowed us access to the living room.
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Not long after we got “set up” for the night, a very strong, windy, thunder storm came through.  The photos above were taken after the storm passed through.  Then about 9 P.M. another, even stronger storm passed through knocking out all of the lighting at the rest area for about three hours!  It was VERY dark.  Total rainfall was just under two inches for the day!

Our overnight stay went fine, and we survived the storms, strong wind, and power outage.  The noise from the trucks and traffic didn’t really bother us at all.  Will we boondock again?  Probably not unless we have to.  We aren’t really set up for boon docking… and our floor plan doesn’t work too well either.  But now at least we can say,
“Been there, done that!!”

The next morning (Tuesday, 7/1) Terri’s eye was doing much better.  We were able to make it the rest of the way here to Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park without having to stop along the way.

We’re parked right next to Rick & Gail.  The four of us are looking forward to a fun week!


  1. If you are age 60+, get the Shingles vaccine. It is expensive so check your insurance coverage. I am (or was before I retired) an ER nurse. I got the vaccine as soon as my insurance covered it. It was pretty painless. My arm didn't even hurt!

  2. Well, we're sure glad you got here safe and sound. Better late than never :) This has been a fun week. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  3. You guys certainly had quite the time getting to your destination! Glad Terri is mending well. Have a great time with Rick & Gail!

  4. Glad that the rest area was there right where you needed it. Now you know you can cross boondocking in a rest area off your "must do" list... ;c)

    What a problem that one silly little cat hair has caused Terri. Thank goodness the ointment is working, just don't let her overdo it and strain her eyes..

  5. I'm worrying about Terri's eyes. That cat hair really did a number on them. Eyes are so precious. I'm glad you decided to stay put even if you didn't like it all that much. Hope the eye continues to mend. I'm rather surprised they didn't give you a patch. Have fun with Rick and Gail, I know you will.

  6. We hope you are feeling better Terri. One of the best things we have found about full-timing is the ability to be more flexible. Enjoy your weekend with Rick and Gail, we're thinking of you all.

  7. We don't boondock either. But, it is always good to know that you can if you need to. Hope Terri's eye heals soon.

  8. Good decision to stay with the storms headed your way. We have not stayed at a rest area yet, and if we do we hope we can have another Rver stay with us as well, safety in numbers as they say.. Hope Terri gets better soon!

  9. Hope Terri's eyes are better. Glad to hear you weathered the storm. Winds are the scariest! Here in South Dakota they blow extremely hard. Back in Florida we'd call them a hurricane. Agree that having another rver nearby makes for a much more restful night.

  10. Hope Terri's eye is better by now and I'm sure you've had a good holiday with Rick & Gail. Haven't done the boondocking either but I'm sure our day will come. Enjoy your time off.

  11. We've never boondocked either, but if we ever do, I'm sure we would feel better with another rv'er next to us. Guess I will go back and read what happened to her eye.