Sunday, August 03, 2003

Still more notes from the past, spun into a blog.

August 2000.

Recently we headed west, to western Illinois, that is. A spot on the map called the Apple River Canyon State Park, in Jo Daviess County. “Canyon,” is overstating the case, but it’s a pleasant green riverside park with hills, which are uncommon in northern Illinois. We drove there by way of Rockford, Illinois, where on Saturday morning a thunderstorm caught us.

So we spent a few hours in Rockford’s fine science museum, which had a number of things to amuse the small fry, including a giant bubble-maker. Some lesson in there about surface tension; yeah, right. Things cleared up enough for us to make it to Apple River late in the afternoon and pitch our tent. It is the same tent I bought in the late ’80s, and it has become smaller in those years. Need a bigger one. Another thing to buy. Sometimes the pursuit of bourgeois accoutrements is a pain in the butt.

That evening we ate that traditional camping food… take-out pizza from down the road. Lilly enjoyed the surroundings completely, especially our walks on one of the simple trails. She also got a kick out of the little flashlight, pointing it this way and that. Yuriko enjoyed camping too, interestingly enough. She has no fond camping memories from her youth, such as mine at Bastrop State Park [in Texas]. Camping isn’t something the Japanese generally do, except for the enthusiasts, who do it fanatically in the few campgrounds Japan affords.

The next morning, Sunday, we packed up and went seeking Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois, in the extreme northwestern corner of the state. So extreme that another half-mile north is Wisconsin. Turns out that the mound is on private property, and we had made no reservation to see it. I learned all these things after I got back, from a Web site called, devoted to facts and pics about all the highest points in all the states of the union. And the fanatics who have climbed them all. Still, if you’re going to be fanatical about something, better something eccentric than something pedestrian, like a sport.


Post a Comment

<< Home