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YEAR #2 - STOP #53

"Land of Lincoln"
is our 24th visited state

Nothing unusual about today's long moving day, other than the fact it was on a Friday the 13th. We seldom move on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, if we can avoid it. We don't like arriving on the same day that all of the weekend campers do. By doing this we can avoid the long check-in lines at the ranger station.

The first 160 miles today was due west on Interstate 64 and then 26 miles due north on a two lane County Road through the small town of Carlyle, IL (population 3300). We arrived a little before 2:00PM and luckily there was no check-in station, just drive to your reserved campsite and setup.

WELCOME to Hazlet Sate Park!

There was a Welcoming Committee (of one) waiting for us at our campsite! This huge groundhog was patrolling the back of our campsite where it meets the shoreline of Lake Carlyle. He stood there sniffing the air for a few moments and then scurried down the bank and disappeared into a hole.

Another aspect to our Illinois welcoming was being treated to a Harvest Moon on our first night here. All photos below were taken on our campsite.

Our home for the next ten days!

It was still a little bright out when the moon first came over the horizon...

... but it quickly became dark enough to see the moon beams over the lake.

SATURDAY - Today we are visiting our sixth of twenty four World Heritage Sites here in the United States. The Cahokia Mounds were constructed over a 300 year period more than 600 years ago. We held off our visit here until the weekend because their activities calendar showed there would be a small group of Chickasaw Indians giving a live presentation on Native Storytelling and Stomp Dancing. It was interesting to listen and watch their demonstrations.

In addition to the live demonstrations there was a theatre with a 20 minute documentary film explaining the location of the mounds and the history of the people who inhabited this city. It was pointed out that at the height of population here in the 1200's that it had more people living within this city than did London, England at the time.

Inside the Visitor Center was a very large and informative museum, with dioramas and artifacts to show what life at Cahokia could have been like. We could have spent hours inside the museum and not seen it all. The gift shop held authentic arts and crafts, jewelery and reference books on Mississippian Indian culture.


The view of Monks Mound from across the street at the Visitor Center.
Looking back down the 154 steps we took to reach the top.
The flat top of Monks Mound where the chief's home would have been.
Looks like someone is having a picnic down there...
... nope. Another dig is going on to find more clues to the past life here at Cahokia.

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