Monday, September 28, 2015

Eldon Hazlet State Park, Carlyle, IL

We try to not make campground reservations. That way we can stay a little longer than planned -- like we are doing here at Eldon Hazlet State Park in Carlyle, IL -- or move if the mood (or the weather, or who knows what) strikes us.

But we do call ahead to check on availability. I called the Eldon Hazlet SP early last week to see if it was likely they’d have space for us on Friday. They said chances were good. Then I called again Friday morning; they said there was plenty of space at the moment but that the campground's 350 spots fill up on weekends.  

When we arrived about 2 p.m., we had lots of first-come, first serve spots to choose from, including several great ones right on the lake.  By 6 p.m., however, the campground was close to full.  Now it’s Monday and we almost have the place to ourselves. 

As for activities: Yesterday we took a short hike and kayaked among the water fowl. Today we are going to the vet as Cooper is sick again.  If he perks up, tomorrow we’ll take a side trip to St. Louis.
Our campsite at Eldon Hazlet State Park, about 50 miles due east of St. Louis. That's Carlyle Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in Illinois, behind us.  Over the weekend, there were fishing boats going back and forth behind our rig.  Today it's mostly pelicans.
The only bad thing here at the park are the "midges" that come out at night.Here a few lounge on the front of our RV.  They look like big mosquitos, but don't bite.  One evening we were outside and I felt like Tippi Hedron in a bug version of "The Birds."    
One of the park hiking trails goes to the Burnside family cemetery.  James Burnside -- who moved to America from Ireland -- settled here with his wife, Elizabeth, in 1817 when James was 24.  They had six children and farmed 160 acres purchased for $2 each. James died at age 59 in 1851, but there is no record of Elizabeth's death.  We couldn't read all the inscriptions, but a website said death dates on the 19 graves ranged from 1832 to 1868. It appears that the carved gravestones were later reset in cement in an attempt to help preserve them.
American White Pelicans on Lake Carlyle. They have have black fringed wings, but you can barely see the black unless they are flying.

Jim kayaking among the pelicans.
Also at the lake are double crested cormorants, a blacking fish bird with a hooked beak that was once on the endangered species list in Illinois.
And, my eclipse photo.  It was cloudy and rainy most of the day Sunday.  When the eclipse started, the moon was peaking through the clouds.  Then the sky cleared, the eclipse was in total view, and so were the stars. 


  1. Great pic of the 'blood moon' - the clouds didn't clear where we're located. Hope Cooper gets better in a hurry!

    1. Thanks, Judy. He seems better today, All the best to you and Ursa!