Missouri was fun, but it's time to move on to our next campsite. Next we're going to Diamond Caverns RV park in Kentucky!
We're going to drive through Missouri, barely clip Illinois, and then go into Kentucky.
And normally it would just be us, but we've got a stowaway! Rita, Rich, and Chi, drove down from Michigan to visit family in Missouri. They were looking at a 10 hour drive if they were to do it straight through. Or they could come with us over to Kentucky and split up the drive into 2 days, and stay the night with us again. The kids were happy they'd get to see their family for more days.
Along the drive we crossed over the Mighty Mississippi River.
Crossed over into Illinois.
And then 10 minutes later, according to the timestamps on the photos, crossed the Ohio River.
Which serves as the border between Illinois and Kentucky!
We're in Kentucky! There's the official sign we're looking for. Kentucky has Unbridled Spirit.
And the kids were excited that they both get to mark off a brand new state from their map of States they've visited. I think that puts them at 19 total. We've got a lot more to do if we're going to collect them all. But we're going to make a good attempt at it while we're in the RV.
When we were going through the route the night before, Theresa was telling me about a 40 mile stretch of road that just has no amenities on it. And despite our multiple stops ahead of time, just a few minutes after starting that 40 mile stretch, from the back seat I hear "I have to go to the bathroom."
Thank goodness for extra wide shoulders on the interstate. And fortunately the RV is accessible so we can use a real bathroom.
After 5 hours or so of driving, we arrived at Diamond Caverns RV Park. We parked at the office, went inside, then a lady on a golf cart drove us over to our site.
Welcome to Diamond Caverns RV Resort.
She asked if we wanted the first space in the row, right at the entrance. It's a pull-through (so I don't have to back in), has 50A electrical service (so we can run both air conditioners), has a sewer line (so I don't have to haul grey water to the dump station), and is close to the playground and pool. Um, that sounds perfect! There might be more traffic since we're on the front of the row, but all the rest of it sounded great.
Ian is learning the ropes for how to get the RV setup when we arrive. He's learning about the extra stabilizers to keep the RV from rocking, and how to tighten and loosen ratchet straps.
While Theresa and I are getting dinner ready, Rita, Richard, and the kids took advantage of one of the other free amenities that this campground has. Mini-golf!
We've noticed a few basketball goals at the places we've been so far. We picked up a few basketballs from Walmart so the kids could shoot around.
The kids knew this place had a pool and are super excited to go swimming for the week that we're here.
For now they've got their float vests on, but this week we're going to make an effort to learn how to swim without it.
He can still do it!
After breakfast the next morning, it was time for the Michigan family to head back home.
It was great to see everyone! Safe travels!
Now that it's just us again, I pulled out the bikes and we set off to explore.
We found a garden that someone is maintaining with a bunch of different plants. For the most part though, our bike riding fell behind here. Alli's bike doesn't have gears. Our bikes aren't meant for off-road paths (small tires, skinny wheels), and so we generally like to stick to the paved roads. Besides the main area by the clubhouse, there's a lot of sandy gravel areas here.
We're loving our campsite location! That's our rig on the left. We can just look out the window and see how busy the pool is, if the playground is free, and who is playing mini golf. Plus we've got a view of the rest of the site from our window, instead of being sandwiched in between other RVs.
We stopped by Walmart for our usual weekly grocery shopping. It's been hot so the kids really wanted frozen treats. Like Orange pushups! I had one too. Just as good as I remember them being.
And we got goggles for the kids for the pool. I think they're a little tight Theresa.
I think we made it to the pool every single day we were here.
From watching the Olympics, the kids wanted to play Water Polo. I love how the Olympics showcases all sorts of sports, and inspires them to get creative to play it themselves.
And the kids are getting more comfortable in the water too. Ian can swim from one end to the other consistently now. Alli can swim from side to side without touching the bottom. We'll keep working on it, but I'm satisfied that could get themselves to the side of the pool if they happened to fall in.
They had a fun playground here that the kids enjoyed. Lots of things to climb and crawl over.
While we're here I was able to get the kids' tv fixed. I added some steel plates to the back, added a few more screws and nuts to hold it to the plastic frame of the TV. I also added Loctite to keep those from coming apart again.
We've been falling a bit behind on our walks, but we've got some time today to make that up. We're following the Mammoth Cave Railroad trail, but not all the way to the caves. This abandoned railway once brought travelers from Glasgow Junction to Mammoth Caves and the other areas of interest along the way.
I was humming the Jars of Clay song "In open fields of wild flowers, She breathes the air and flies away"
It's pretty here. But what kind of flowers are they?
Wait! These are carrots? The app PictureThis is pretty amazing at telling us what kind of plants we're looking at. I love it!
It's a pretty warm day today, but it's nice that most of the trail is under the canopy of the trees.
I love that the kids still get excited about things like butterflies. Especially when we see an especially large one, or a color that we haven't seen before. They always want to have a picture of it.
After 2 miles it was time to turn around. The kids are motivated by snacks. Dot's pretzels are a favorite.
And white cheddar Cheez-Its, especially when they're doubled up!
Does Ian control the weather? He mentioned that it sure would be nice if it rained so that things would cool down a little. A few minutes later, the skies opened up and we had a brief rain shower. It did cool things down a little, but it's still hot.
Theresa said "Those flowers look like I feel."
Our site it covered with pebbles. Somehow this boy was looking at them and noticed this one that appears to have a shell imprint.
Ian - Dadda, I found a fossil!
Wow! You sure did buddy! That's awesome!
Which prompted a few more searches for other rocks with fossils in them. No luck though.
We love watching the Olympics. The kids are showing me their skills.
That's a pretty cool trick Ian.
While they were eating breakfast, Ian noticed a bird that was flying down to the grass a lot. He told me that he thought it was a mommy and a baby.
Sure enough, after a closer look, there is a baby bird hiding out in the grass.
I donned a glove and prepared to move it back into a tree, but it didn't want to be there either. Ah, this isn't a little baby bird. This is a young bird that is learning to fly! The momma bird was keeping a close eye on it. When the worker started driving over in the golf cart we were super worried that he would squish it! Luckily he saw it and shooed it into grass, away from the vehicles that were driving by.
The kids have wanted to play putt-putt with us since we got here. But it's the middle of the day and the sun is brutal! But it's our last day here and we've got to make sure we get it in.
The greens aren't anything special. Everything has a slope to it, so if you don't have a soft touch, it's always going to be up against the side.
But it is free, so I can't really complain.
After 9 holes, everyone was sweating and ready for a break. We'll pick this game up again later tonight.
That evening the temperatures are a little more reasonable, and we finish our game. I barely beat Theresa by a single stroke.
That night, I took the kids to the pool again, while Theresa strummed her ukulele. It was a very nice night.
Someone definitely reminds me of myself.
The next morning it's time to get packed up and get a move on. We've got to get on the road and get to our next stop. I had planned to take the kids over to the pool one last time before we go. The pool is supposed to open at 8am, but when we walked up, there was a lock on the gate!
Alli - Can't we climb over the fence?
Ooh, going to have to watch that little rule breaker. No, we can't Alli.
The kids kept their eyes open and perked up anytime someone on a golf cart drove by. Finally at 9am the pool guys arrived and as soon as he unlocked the gate, the kids were right behind him.
We've loved our time here at the Diamond Caverns RV park! We've seen some really amazing things nearby and the kids loved the pool. But it's time to move on to the next adventure!
Alli - My favorite prt was the swimming pool. I oso liket uthr people leave stuff there. And we got to go on the prak.