2 weeks in the Chicago area during the pandemic – YIKES!

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Illinois Beach State Park

11/28/2020 Illinois – I tried to make the best of a bad situation with the COVID thing as I now call it. Fortunately, I was able to spend a couple of days with 2 of my sisters, and a couple more mooch docking in one of their driveways. The rest of my stay consisted of stealth camping behind a Walmart in an industrial area and camping for a weekend at Illinois Beach State Park. I would have been glad to stay but there was nothing to do except for cleaning out my storage space, going through some boxes, and delivering a few gifts. And the weather started to get cold. I’m not sure about how much I want to elaborate on this, but folks, if you don’t have to travel, stay put.

Cleaning up the storage space was a good experience. I am finally letting go of some of my stuff and I donated some furniture and placed some in the alley for a good soul to find. Donating became such a challenge because they either didn’t want my stuff or they were closed. After 3 tries at different stores, I gave up. Maybe I’ll have better luck with the clothes and shoes that I don’t want. I’ll go through the storage space again when I return sometime next year.

I wish I had camped at IBSP during the fall, it would have been beautiful! The lake made up for for the lack of leaves with its crashing waves and meandering hiking trails. It was in pretty sad condition though, because the sand that came from Wisconsin no longer fills the beaches and erosion is really taking a toll. There were washed out bike paths and the bath houses looked like they’ve been abandoned. Fortunately, our campground was in great shape and the only open bath house was heated. YAY! There was also a doe hanging around the camp sites, and I think people were feeding her. I only stayed a couple of days because it was getting cold.

Side trip: I bought Katie’s tent and drove to Sheboygan, WI to meet her to pick it up. This is another town I really would like to explore, the lakefront was beautiful! I’ll be back…

Thanksgiving was a COVID holiday and I lived in the driveway and spent my time outside while the gang was inside. My sisters joined me later and it worked out pretty well. We are thinking a getting portable fire pits. I had my space heater with me in the evening, and frankly, I can live pretty much anywhere as long as I can plug in. I even made spinach balls in my little toaster oven. Thanks, Kathy!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I got a lot done while I was here. My van had a recall that was completed, I now have real running water via a 12v pump, and I got my flu and pneumonia shots, dental cleaning and talked to an insurance agent. The only thing I am not going to do is keep my doctor appointment. I would have had to wait until Dec. 1 and it just got too cold for me to deal with. I’ve been staying in hotels this week when I’m not plugged in somewhere and I’m ready to move on to warmer weather.

I also visited another sister, dropped off some jam for my work friends and visited my old boss. I have to admit that I was very productive! And I went shopping, heeding all of the safety rules and guidelines. I feel pretty good and am very rested.

Stay tuned for my next adventure – going to Arizona via Route 66!

Stay safe!

Spinach balls in the van

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