Apr 11 2011

Mandarin Moose Lodge #42, Jacksonville, Florida

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Front of building We first came to the Mandarin Moose Lodge #42 in November 2010 to stay for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday. When we first arrived, it was about a mile from Tracy's home. In December, Tracy bought a new home and the Moose Lodge was still close — only 2.5 miles away. 

BounderWe enjoy staying here. It's very economical to camp, only $350 a month including water and electric. The drinks are reasonably priced as is the food at the social quarters.

Tracy HomeSince Tracy had just purchased a new home, we extended our stay at the Lodge so we could help her move and get everything in the new home settled. We stayed until mid-February. Then we traveled around Florida, visiting some of our favorite haunts and visiting new places, too.

We stayed at several Moose Lodges across Florida, and the Mandarin Lodge is our favorite. It has a pool, a kid's playground, an outside barbecue area and, of course, the RV sites. This is the only Lodge we've found with a pool. Pool

We're now back at the Moose Lodge. We have friends from Nevada coming to Jacksonville and the Lodge will be close to where they're staying. We'll also be here for Courtney's birthday party, to be held at the Jacksonville Zoo.

We'll be leaving Florida towards the end of April and starting our trek north.


Jul 9 2010

Illinois – Stephens and Hunts

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During our Illinois visit, we visited with long-time friends, John and Kay Stephens and Bill and Delores Hunt, as well as Chad, Jenni and Avery Stephens. It was great to see them all again. And it was also refreshing to swim in Kay and John's pool on a 98 degree day. 

Kay-Delores_poolDon-Bill-John

 

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We had a great time catching up with all of them. 


Jul 7 2010

The Lincoln Museum, Springfield, Illinois

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While in Illinois, we visited the Lincoln Museum and Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. It's a must-see if you're ever in the area. Jan loves libraries and is anxious to spend some time there, just looking or working on her genealogy. Here are some pictures taken when we were at the museum:


Jul 7 2010

Illinois – Vern and Carol Endsley

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Vern-CarolOn July 5, 2010, we traveled to Central Illinois to visit family and friends. First on our stop were friends Vern and Carol Endsley in Taylorville. They invited us to dry camp in their driveway during our Illinois stay. 

As always, we had a great time visiting with them. Dry camping at their house is better than any campground in the area. Bounder2


Jul 6 2010

Bear Cave Resort, Buchanan, Michigan

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Sign-Bear Cave ResortOn Saturday of the July 4 weekend, we drove down to Buchanan, Michigan, to stay at Bear Cave Resort. Rich in historic tradition, this preserve was built on the site of a former Indian Village. Bear Cave is the only cavern in the Great Lakes area. Beautiful stalactites, flowstone, petrified leaves, and strange shapes, all colored by the metal oxides of native ores, run throughout the cave. Outside, the area surrounding Bear Cave, located on the St. Joseph River, is rich in wooded hills, wildflowers and deep ravines. 

We were able to get a shaded site with full hook-ups. Donna drove down to join us. We joke about her car being our toad — it just arrived a few hours later.  Bounder3 Donna Car

The cave, though small, was delightful. Along the 40 foot winding stairway that leads visitors through the cave are stalactites, petrified leaves, and other peculiar shapes. The metal oxides of native ores color the entire cave. The cave measures 15 feet deep, 4-6 feet wide and 10-15 feet high. Sign leading to cave

The cave holds quite a bit of significant history. It played a significant part in the Underground Railroad during the period of slavery. In 1875, the “loot” from an Ohio bank robbery was “deposited” in the cave. This became the inspiration for the 1903 silent film, The Great Train Robbery. The film, now considered a silent film classic, was the precursor of today's thriller movies. 

Donna from Slave RoomA room in the cave, named The Slave Room, was used to hide the slaves. On our trip, the room had water in the entrance. A little water never stops Donna, so she went down into the room. Inside, the water was up to her waist.