|That JPEG-pixilated stuff on the left is Rend Lake|
I’ve said before on these pages that one of the best interstate rest areas in the country (Or at least one of the best that I’ve been to) is in Illinois on southbound I-57 at MM 79. Only problem with it is that it is in Illinois, a state which has been ‘curing’ its financial woes in part by closing down rest areas.
Well this rest area is now open again!! At least it was the last week of June.
If you stay to the right as you enter, (follow the ‘car’ sign not the ‘truck’ sign) drive through that car-parking area, then hang a right onto the “Y” just past the building, you end up on a loop that will eventually bring you right back to the “Y”.
As you can see the loop road has a wide-paved shoulder and is suitable for most RV’s, towed or not.
Why should you care?
Because this is the view out my front window
and when I slide the side door open and start building a sandwich at the counter, this is my view.
When I did slide that door open I nearly had these things joining me for lunch.
Other than they vaguely resemble Osage Orange but smaller with a soccer-ball pattern instead of an evenly pebbled surface, I have no idea what kind of tree this is.
There is plenty of room to spread out here on the shore of Rend Lake and, if you have rug-rats or are a rug-rat at heart, there is even a decent playground tucked in behind the modernized (The state had to do something to justify the multi-year closing!!) bathroom building
With the loop being set a decent ways back from the interstate and truck parking, this makes a refreshingly quite rest-area overnighter spot.
If northbound just jump off at exit 83, make a U turn and come back. In the morning another U turn at exit 77 gets you headed back in the right direction.