For thirty-seven years having a single family home, a workshop, many tools within arms reach, and heading out for four-day camping trips was the norm. As retirement approced it lead to the thought, “Hey if these getaway’s are so much fun, lets make this a lifestyle during the golden retirement years.” So we did.
The temperature went down to 27 degrees October 30, at Mammoth Cave National Park, Cave City, Tennessee. We had the gas furnace on, and supplemental heat running in the water pump area, but guess what? A good guess would be at 3 AM the water quit running. Bummer!!
Robert E. Peary, famous polar explorer came to mind. We are not doing anything near his magnitude, but still Peary came to mind, “What the heck are we doing here? The forecast called for freezing, we knew that. The park ranger even came by and turned off the water feeding the campground. This is getting serious. I gotta get my head in the game. Here I sit in a somewhat warm travel trailer, and the water pump is not working; Now what?
The pump started working a couple of hours later, and no damage was done. During those anxious hours pondering my next action step, I redefining our characterization. We are no longer happy-go-lucky retirees on an extended weekend trip, we are happy-go-blessed explorers. We left behind family, community, a storm shelter, safety, a personal repair shop, a stationary mailing address, and much more. For what? Adventure and hassles.
Traits of Explorers
- Risk taking
- A sense of higher purpose
Wildcat Den State Park
Driving east towards Indiana we happened upon Wildcat Den State Park near Muscatine, Iowa (IA). It offered trails that wind through a variety of terrain and lead to such fascinating sites as “Steamboat Rock,” “Devil’s Punch Bowl,” and “Fat Man’s Squeeze.” The beautiful bluffs and rock outcroppings provide spectacular views to hikers. One of the focal points of the park is the Pine Creek Grist Mill located in the eastern part of the park on Pine Creek.
Starved Rock State Park
Deb was searching out our next camping opportunity and found Starved Rock State Park. It is a wilderness area on the Illinois River near Oglesby, Illinois. Known for its steep sandstone canyons formed by glacial melt water was the attraction. St. Louis, French and Wildcat canyons, have waterfalls. A wooded trail leads to Lover’s Leap Overlook, with views of the river and Starved Rock Dam.
What’s the deal with Lovers Leap anyway, why would lovers what to leap to their death? Google says; Lovers’ Leap is named after two slave lovers from the 18th century, Mizzy and Tunkey. According to legend, their master, Chardley, liked Mizzy; so, in a bid to have her for himself, he arranged for her lover, Tunkey, to be sold to another estate. That legend expanded to defining Love’s Leap as – Lover’s Leap is a toponym given to a number of locations of varying height, usually isolated, with the risk of a fatal fall and the possibility of a deliberate jump. Legends of romantic tragedy are often associated with a Lovers’ Leap.
Brown County State Park
While waited for trailer repairs to be completed we drove to Amboy, IN. There we visited with a couple of spiritual temple stones, and wonderful friends of ours, Brent and Debby. They hinted to us that Brown County State Park is a fantastic place to visit. So we did, and were not disappointed. It is in the center of the southern half of the state of Indiana. The park is the largest of 24 state parks in Indiana, and occupies 15,776 acres —making it one of the larger state parks in the United States.