Ferne Clyffe State Park, Goreville, IL (October 21, 2015)

After our five-day stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone campground in Nashville, we headed out to explore America.  We headed toward St. Louis where we were scheduled to attend Phil’s niece’s wedding on October 24th.  Since we have agreed to limit our driving to four hours a day, Phil had booked us a 70 foot pull-through site at Ferne Clyffe state park near Marion, IL.

We arrived at about 2:30 pm.  We had expected to find a ranger station when we entered the park but, since we did not, we continued to drive into the campground.  After a sharp bend, the road squeezed between two large trees. Phil held his breath as he managed to get the rig past the trees without any damage.  The road then forked and Phil followed the sign toward sites 36-52.  Since we had reserved site 37, we quickly found the sign for our site.  However, instead of the long pull-through site we had reserved, site 37 appeared to be a back-in site and a short one to boot.  In a quandary as to what to do, we circled around the campground until we found the camp host’s trailer.  Phil approached the host and asked if we were in the right place since the site 37 we had just been to wasn’t a pull-through.  The host assured Phil that site 37 was a pull-through and gave him directions that were the same way Phil had gone originally.  After Phil circled through the campground a second time, with no more success than the first, the camp host came to help and directed Phil into the campsite.  The camp host then explained that, for some crazy reason, the park put the post with the site number at the end of the pull-through rather than at the beginning of the site where we would have seen it when arriving.  In addition, the site was so heavily covered in leaves that it was hard to see that there was a drive there.  Anyway, once we found the site, it was easy to pull into and was quite level.

After thanking the camp host, we unhitched the trailer and began hooking up.  It was only at this point that we discovered that the site had no water hookup.  We had known that there was no sewer hookup at the site but the lack of water came as a surprise, especially since we did see water hookups at some of the other sites.  However, we hunted around the site for quite a while before concluding that there was no water.  Phil even checked the state park’s website and, although it mentioned that site 37 had electric, it didn’t mention anything about water.

The good news was that we had some water in our fresh water tank.  The bad news was that we only had 17 gallons and, being newbies, had no idea how long this would last.  The irony here was that the dealer had added 80 gallons to the fresh water tank to test the tank and we had neglected to drain the tank before driving to Nashville.  Since water weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon, this added about 640 lbs.to the load we towed to Nashville.  We had discovered this mistake during our stay in Nashville and had drained most of the water from our tank.

Anyway, since we were only staying overnight, we figured we would just conserve water during our stay.  This involved using the public restrooms and Jan bought some bottled water during our shopping trip to Wal-Mart.  In the end, we didn’t need to have worried as much as we did.  We left the next morning with 13 gallons still in our tank.

Although we had driven less than 4 hours, we were both exhausted.  After a quick trip to Marion, IL for grocery shopping, refueling the truck and dinner at Backyard Burgers, we went right to bed.


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