Friday, June 05, 2009

Black Hawk & the I & M Canal

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Drove to Rock Island, IL to visit the Black Hawk State Historic Site. The Site was dedicated to the Sauk and Mesquakie Indian tribes who occupied the land from about 1730 until they were driven out by the westward expansion of the US. This was the site of the westernmost battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1780 Americans destroyed the Sauk village. In 1804 the Indians ceded all lands east of the Mississippi River, 51 million acres in all, to the U.S. Government.
Later we drove to Sunset Park which overlooks the Mississippi River. I was hoping to see some barges come past. No luck. We continued east with Starved Rock SP as our goal. When we got to the campground it was a big disappointment. Not very attractive, not close to the Illinois River as we thought from the park brochure. We decided to continue on for Gebhard Woods State Park near Morris, IL. A wonderful park. Unfortunately, there is only tent camping. Oh well. The park is located on the old I & M Canal which linked Lake Michigan with the Illinois River at LaSalle, IL. It was built in 1848. The old tow path is now a 61 mile long multi-use path. We took a couple of nice walks and grilled our dinner. We had some bratwurst from Pella, IA and our favorite vegetable, bar-b-que sweet potatoes. Had the most enjoyable afternoon. The park is very popular. We enjoyed watching the people fishing, walking, bike riding, etc., on a perfect, sunny afternoon. The park closes at 9:00. We spent the night in the parking lot of the Travel America Plaza on I-80.

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