IL: Cardinal Capers
THE LAST CAMPING OUTING FOR 2021 IS IN THE BOOKS!
And what an outing it was. Those members present were Carol Brown, Frosts, Gastels, Korzuns, Ann Polson, Swifts, Watnes, and two guest units. There was some rain on Thursday but we still managed to have a roaring fire to cook our food and a wonderful meeting room in the campground office-recreation-gaming building to enjoy our Dog’s n’ more.
For those who have never been to Crystal Lake RV Park, it includes a lake, and many other outdoor amenities. Jim and Ginger went to Rock Falls earlier to check out restaurants and activities they were planning and met with owner of the campground. He informed us a man had made reservations but his identity would remain a mystery as he wanted to surprise a Cardinal Capers couple. The campground owner wanted to make sure we were okay with the couple joining us. We didn’t know the man, and called the Watnes to see if they knew him but they didn’t either. We decided to let the surprise play out. Turned out to be Bruce and Kathy Cook, the couple that purchased the RV Frosts’ sold unit. They parked next to Frosts and relived some of the adventures they have had with the RV the past few months, including a terrible hail storm in Gulf Shores with baseball sized hail resulting in an entire roof repair and other items. They enjoyed our camp out and signed on as members. Also visiting were Jeff and Kathy Wilshire from Maryville, IL. Some of us had met them at IL Indians rallies and they spend winter months at the same park as some of our members.
Friday morning we were on our own for breakfast and the ladies headed to the Country at Heart Quilting and Gift shop where they were able to find quilting supplies or sewing kits. The gift shop had fragrant candles and Country themed gifts. We left there in two cars and went shopping at resale type shops around Rock Falls. One car headed over to Sterling for more resale shops, one four stories of treasures. The ladies in the other car checked out the Hennepin Canal and Rock River Park where the guys were going on their adventure. Some took pictures at the Art in the Park Sculpture Walk and headed for fast foods stops before returning to camp. The guys explored the Hennepin Canal and then went to the Harley Davidson shop to check out what’s new. Kerry found a good place to put his canoe in the water by the Harley shop so he and Leticia could go canoeing, which they did. The Swifts and Ann also went for a bike ride around the area.
After our afternoon campfire (we were determined to get rid of all our wood that had been toted for the last few months) we all enjoyed our scrumptious meal at the Candlelight Inn. Gave it a 5 star rating! Came back to our campfire and enjoyed s’mores for desert. Saturday morning we all went to Gazi’s for breakfast. It was delicious and entertaining. Our waitress was a fun loving snarky lady who kept us laughing every time she brought coffee, water, or whatever to the table. Of course some of our Capers tossed the bantering right back. Good food and good time! We then went to a year round Farmer’s Market in Sterling. It was in their old train depot and had everything from pumpkins to free range eggs to you name it! After lunch we met in the campground meeting room for the painting of Cardinals. New members put their names on the wooden cardinal and these are placed on a PVC stand where our flags are displayed during each campout. When that was finished we set up for our Championship Baseball game. The ladies won most of the games all season but the guys won the deciding game 26 to 20. We all enjoyed an ice cream treat around the campfire followed by our delicious potluck. After we were stuffed, we all went outside to a roaring fire and enjoyed a sing-a-long. We missed our song leader, Dave Hicks, who was under the weather the past few days and unable to join us. We missed you Dave and Lynne! Sunday we gathered one final time for finger foods and conversation before heading out for home. It was a great way to end our camping season! Just six months until our next campout!