Pere Marquette- RV weekend Sept 11-13 2015

We wanted to get our Illinois sticker for our RV travels, so we picked a weekend that Vicky's friends would be available for some activities. Some of them live on the "other"side of the river in Illinois, so we picked Pere Marquette in Grafton, IL., due to its lovely scenery along the river and excellent food at their lodge restaurant.


 We couldn't have planned on a better weekend to go RV camping. It was sunny blue skies and the humidity around the area has broken. Temperatures were only in the low 70's during the day and low 50's at night. perfect sleeping weather with all the windows open.

The Pere Marquette campground was really nice, with big sites and plenty of large shade trees. 

We arrived around dinner time, in time for me to fix steaks and then have a great sit out by the fire with the stars overhead.


The morning dawned beautifully.
 We planned to hike all the trails in Pere Marquette state park today. There are a total of about 12 miles. We hiked 10 miles with one small loop missed as we had plans to meet up with our friends (Lisa and Steve) in the afternoon

 Wild flowers out everywhere late in the summer

one of the overlooks along the trail

Some great geology along the trails

 Some of the trails were a bit overgrown. Not many people stray far from the lodge and I had a feeling not many people go this deep into the woods.
The trails closer to the lodge were much wider! 

 Overlooks for the Illinois river.
Panorama of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers converging here in Grafton

 We met a couple while walking that said they had just seen a bobcat (stuffed version below from the Visitors Center) and a coyote along the trail.

We left the trail and got cleaned up and then drove across the Brussels Ferry to meet Lisa and Steve for the afternoon.

We went to lunch at Point Pleasant, Golden Eagle, IL.

 It had been a one room school house now converted to a Restaurant/Bar. Very nice small town atmosphere and good food- very talkative young waitress.

A great view off their back deck of the surrounding country side

Back across the Brussels ferry in the early evening. Looking northeast

Looking southwest

Once back in our RV site we started the fire and enjoyed sitting still for awhile!

During the night one of the RV groups got a little rowdy, from too much drink, and has still yelling obscenities until 2:30 am. Surprisingly it must have been harmless as neither the campground hosts or park rangers showed up. Honestly I didn't even get out of bed to look!
The next morning we had plans to meet more of Vicky's work friends and family for brunch at the lodge and then take a river cruise before we had to check out of the RV park.

This weekend had two festivals going on at the same time. The Apple Festival (1st photo below) with arts and crafts from local produce and cottage companies and a Fur Trader rendezvous reenactment going on down by the river (2nd photo below)

The lodge is another example of the fantastic building skill of the Civilian Conservation Corp, (CCC) which can be seen all over the US from the late 1920's through the 1930. 

The Lodge is known for its fried chicken- which was consumed in quantity today (except for Vicky who never misses a chance for good catfish)

 After brunch it was off into Grafton and a trip on the river boat Hakuna Matata (No Worries) and that is what we did for about an hour, having a great ride up and down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. You get to bring your own snacks and of course buy drinks on board.

The Group of river travelers
(L-R: Tom, Deb & Jack, Mark & Pam, Vicky, Steve & Lisa)

I was there

 a beautiful day leaving Grafton harbor

Panorama of the Illinois meeting the Mississippi just south of Grafton, IL.

Back home, putting the Illinois sticker on the RV- a very successful weekend.


  1. Well, as usual, a very great narrative of your RV trip! You sure have a good eye when it comes to taking all those floral pictures along the trails. Sounds like you had a really good time with friends. ( also looks like the food was "yummy" and plenty of it) It is so great that you and Vicky are taking these weekends together and going out to hike and camp. Dad and I can't wait to be home with you.


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