Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cave in the Rock and Tower Rock, Rim Rock and Garden of the Gods

Leaving Indiana, we headed across the Ohio River to the southeast corner of  Illinois.

We stayed at Tower Rock Recreation Area, a small primitive campground with only about 5 spots, but it was right on the Ohio River.

We visited Tower Rock every morning while walking Fancy.

About 10 miles north was the town of  Cave In Rock, named after the state park.  I like murals painted on buildings.

If you want to keep going on the highway, you wait for the ferry to take you across the Ohio River.

The town had painted, decorated bicycles scattered around town.

Looking out from inside Cave in Rock.

About 10 miles south was Elizabethtown, IL, and the Rose Hotel, established in 1812.  Originally built in 1776 as a travern, it was changed to a boarding house to serve travelers on the Ohio River.  It has been restored and is now a bed and breakfast.

Fluorite was discovered in Rosiclare, IL, in 1839 and was considered a waste product until the steel industry started using it in 1888.  Hardin County has the deepest and largest fluorite mines, providing about 3/4 of all flourite in the U.S.

Illinois Iron Furnace

I thought Garden of the Gods was in Colorado Springs, but they have one in Illinois, too.

You climb to the top of the rock formations and hike along the rims.

Not far from Garden of the Gods, is Rimrock Recreation area and the Rim Rock Trail.  You can hike the Rim Rock Trail to Garden of the Gods, but you are below the rim, not on top.

Ox-lot cave is a box canyon along the trail and makes a perfect place for a corral and there is even a small spring accessible for the cattle or oxen.

Unlike Garden of the Gods, this was nice and shady for hiking.

About 30 miles north of where we were camped was the town of Shawneetown, settled in 1793.  It is at the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers.

Shawneetown Bank, today a state historic site, was built in 1839 and operated over 100 years before closing its doors in 1942.

We had heard this was a bikers bar and grill, but it looks like it is now closed down and boarded up.

The remains of better times in this almost ghost town.

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