When we left Champaign Illinois we had less than 100 miles to our next stop, the Springfield KOA (with a mailing address of Rochester, Illinois). We drove all expressway, jumping on I 57 heading south for a few miles and then onto I 72 (west) until we reached Springfield.
Even though we made no attempt to leave the D & W Lake RV Park early, we still managed to arrive in Rochester early afternoon. By the time we unhooked Tana and set up we were both really hungry and needed to run an errand or two. Man found a Cracker Barrel a few miles away and so, off we went. Along the way, we happened upon the Lincoln Memorial Garden (a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln) on East Lake Drive in Springfield. Too hungry to stop we decided we would stop on the way back from our late lunch, and we did.
Lovely!! As much as we enjoyed our short visit and our nice walk along the shores of Springfield Lake on this crisp late fall day, this garden must be outta this world fab in the spring and summer! There are 100 acres, 6 miles of interconnected trails, 12 footbridges, pond and 8 stone council rings. There are benches inscribed with Abe 'wisdoms' where you can sit and contemplate and enjoy the park.
Some of the plants listed in the brochure are dogwood, redbuds, crabapples, trillium, bloodroot and bluebells (and that is just the spring list).
Almost at the end of our walk around the gardens, in the waning light of the day, we happened along these two, they are obviously quite used to humans, I was able to get very close.
The paths in the garden are well marked and named, the path along the lake shore is called, of course, Lake Trail. At various spots along the trail there are no trees, bushes or brush to block your view of the lake. On the other side are the City Water, Light and Power smokestacks. This is our first visit to Springfield, so, we were quite impressed with the stacks, even though we had no idea what they were. They are large (one is almost 300 feet tall) and that white smoke was almost art-like against the sky. I had to google search them, and found this article. As I kinda figured, a bit of controversy.
OK, I will fess up, I am not telling this story in chronological order, as I wanted to save this photo for last. Normally I would post this next photo over at Reflection's Flora and Fauna, but, NOT this time! LOL We had been in the gardens for only a few minutes when I spied this fellow. He was not shy either, as he allowed me to take 9 photos, and I probably could have grabbed a few more, but, I had such good ones, even I, the shutter crazy lady, could not see taking any more. I was at the max zoom, and as 'tame' as he seemed to be, there was no way I was gonna follow him down the path to see if I could get closer.
Since Man and I are not hunters and since the bucks in our little corner of the world (at the stick built) tend to stay hidden away and our deer are soooooo nervous, this was a true delight. Our day turned from a day of travel, setting up, lunch and mundane events into an afternoon of awe and smiles. One of Mother Nature's beauties, simple, stunning and wonderful.
* Can you guess where we will go next??