Bo Wood Campground

Our next stop south in Illinois was a Corps of Engineers Campground on Lake Shelbyville. 

COE campgrounds are interesting to me. We are usually the smallest rig in these campgrounds. Bathrooms are exceptionally clean.  Campsites all had concrete pads, 50 amp electrical service, identical fire rings, and a hooked pole for hanging trash. It was almost like the place was run by the military. Wait, it was run by the U.S Army. 

For my friends who enjoy boondocking, this represented the other end of the camping continuum. There wasn’t much hiking here so we enjoyed the lake views, sampled Illinois Amish country, and had some great stuffed pizza at a jaw-dropping low price.

The Stag beer in my hand, a second Stag, two large glasses of wine for Julia, the pizza and generous tip were less than thirty dollars. The pizzeria, Rosariti’s, near Sullivan, shared space with a gas station. Five stars—if ambiance is excluded from the rating. 

Stag was originally a local brew to Illinois. It is now owned by Pabst and has a similar flavor profile—best served very cold.


  1. You are fortunate to have so many camping options. In the plains states the areas with natural settings are few and far between. Of the ones there are, they are overwhelmed. Brewpubs are also scattered and some aren't even worth the drive. The exception would be metro areas... but, blah on the traffic.

  2. We do feel blessed to have so many camping options. On past years, we could get on just about anywhere midweek without reservations. This summer is going to be different with all of the new campers added to the mix. We are planning our extended trips for the spring and fall and will probably spend much of the summer close to home.

    I really enjoy small town brewpubs but I agree that quality can be uneven.

  3. A friend once suggested that those with the big rigs didn't REALLY want to leave home.

    And, as my millionairess (died of pacreatic cancer in 2006) used to quip, "I consider Holiday Inn to be camping."

    1. There wasn’t much evidence of minimalism at the COE. When I passed through Kentucky two years ago, an old, battered guy stopped me in the grocery store parking lot and asked to see the inside of the Scamp. He stood inside the doorway, looked around, and pronounced, “it’s got everything you need.” I agree.


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