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Peru Preparations

We are getting closer to the time for our Inca Trail hike and have started final preparations.   Getting there may be the most problematic.  I've talked to lots of people whose travel plans via air this year have been cancelled or who have been stranded mid-trip--unable to get to their final destination in time for their excursion. On this trip, we will be flying from Chicago to Dallas to Lima.  Then boarding the next day on a Peruvian puddle jumper (or mountain hopper) to Cusco, where we will acclimate to the 11,152'  elevation for a few days. Once the hike starts, there will be little to do but put one foot in front of the other for about four days.  This will be Julia's first multi-day hike where she will be sleeping on the ground in a tent.  I've been dreaming about my Appalachian trail thru-hike twenty-five years ago.  I guess those are called flashbacks. Peak elevation will be at Dead Woman's Pass (elevation 13,828').  Should be interesting.  Will take a b

Rend Lake, Illinois

Our next stop in early May was at another Corps of Engineers campground at Rend Lake near Benton, Illinois. 

We needed to reserve a spot for the weekend, and things were already getting crowded on the first weekend in May. I made the reservation two weeks in advance, and our site was far from prime. To get level, I needed all of my leveling blocks for the rear of the trailer. 

There was a lengthy bike/hike paved trail on the property. We took full advantage and walked at least five miles every day of our stay. After the weekend, the campground emptied out enough to score a lakeside site. 

Julia kayaked several times on the lake.

We visited two brewpubs in the area. The first was called  The Hop Brewery in Christopher, Illinois. The town was in bad economic shape.  The brewery was newer and the highlight of the town.

Julia had a Hefeweizen that she thought was ok. I had something called a white stout that I didn’t like much at all. I thought it would be light colored but full bodied, but it was more like a stout on a diet.

We also went to St Nicholas Brewery in Du Quoin, Illinois. The beer here was much better.

We spent four days at Rend Lake before heading across the river to Mark Twain country in Iowa. 


  1. Remember that time we were canoeing in the Amazon and the guide said it was the tannins that colored the water dark brown? I gonna surmise those folk at the Hop Brewery went on that trip at one time.

  2. OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I'm sure that dead end sign in the photo of Julia was just happenstance and not something you planned??

    Yep, decent trails, but I'll always remember Rend Lake as the place I bought my Geezer Pass within days of becoming eligible.

    1. Oops, photobombed by a sign. A coincidence.

      They better not change the rules/eligibility on that pass. Less than two years and counting.


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