Day #74 – Really off the beaten path!
LOCATION: Mt. Sterling, Illinois – in west central part of state
CAMPGROUND: Ridge View Winery. Yes, another Harvest Host winery! Super nice host who guided us to our level, grassy spot. A bit of a challenge to get here (see below). Music on Sunday afternoons – delightful. Wines were not our cup of tea, but other drinks and food available. Water and electricity available for $15. 4 stars out of 5
WEATHER: Finally the rain stopped. Partly sunny. High 84
DISTANCE DRIVEN: 2 hours
What a nice surprise to awake to something other than rain! We had our typical Sunday morning breakfast – George’s grits and eggs, but could not watch “CBS Sunday Morning” while we ate. We only have 4 channels here, and they are all the religious kind asking for money. 😦
Since we were not in a hurry, I took a long walk to get in my 11,000 steps for the day.
Then, we were off to a new state. Illinois will be our 10th state so far on this year’s trip. We crossed over the Mississippi in Hannibal, Missouri and quickly got into farm country. The roads were pretty bad and like a roller-coaster. We stopped to change drivers, and almost got stuck. Joy is now covered with mud.
The owner had told us to call him a half hour out so he could give us directions and advice about the roads. We couldn’t reach him, then lost cell service, so we just plowed on. The road got worse and worse. I said “At least the roads are not gravel”. Uh oh…..I spoke too soon!
The last 5 miles to the winery were on very loose gravel. George drove about 10 miles an hour to keep us on the road.
When we arrived (thankfully), the owner greeted us and guided us to our parking spot. He asked us about our drive, and we learned that we had come the WRONG way! Had we been able to reach him before our arrival, he would have guided us here via the blacktop road, not the gravel way.
We are parked right next to the vineyard, a bit away from the winery itself – nice privacy.
We walked up to the winery to enjoy their Sunday afternoon music.
The band was excellent and brought in a big crowd.
After catching up on computer needs with their wifi inside, we sat outside on the patio to listen to the music. The owner somehow knew that we are from South Texas, so introduced us to two couples who winter right near us. We enjoyed chatting with them.
We spent the entire afternoon listening to the music and watching people dance.
Wanting to support the host, we bought a meat and cheese platter and took it back to Joy for an appetizer. It was a little warm, so we paid for the electricity hook-up and turned on the A/C.
The music stopped at 5:00, and by 6:00, we had the vineyards and winery to ourselves. Beautiful and very peaceful!
DINNER: A meatless meal, as it seems like we have been eating heavy, meaty food lately. I used the rest of the tikka masala sauce, but instead of pouring it over chicken, I served it over a bunch of stir-fried vegetables – julienned carrots, mushrooms, onions, and a little spinach. A good way to use vegetables.
BOOK: “Girl from the Channel Islands” by Jenny Lecoat. This was an excellent book, fiction but based on a true story of a Jewish girl’s survival during the German Occupation of the island of Jersey. 5 staqrs out of 5!