Today we left Big Rock Campground for parts South. We worked as campground attendants all summer and had a wonderful experience. We let the Senior Ranger for Kane County, IL — our boss — know that we would love to return next year.
Big Rock Campground is located in Big Rock, Illinois, west of Chicago. It is the closest campground to Chicago (besides Hideaway Lakes, which, frankly, the less said about the better). It is a young campground, open for just a partial season in 2013, but it is beautiful.
I highly recommend it, if you are ever in the area. The campground is part of the Big Rock Forest Preserve, and backs up to the forest. The pads are level and the sites are quite spacious. Each site has 20-30-50 amp service and water, as well as a fire-ring and a picnic table. There are two clean dump stations.
As for things to do, there is fairly good hiking and fishing opportunities. The Senior Ranger says he will be making even more trails for next season. In the small pond in the campground, there is catch and release fishing in a small pond at the campground, and a large quarry lake on the other side of the Preserve. The bathrooms are well kept and always clean (I know, because every morning shift we clean the bathrooms).
Our departure was not without problems. The day before we’d taken the coach up to the dump station to complete the sanitization of our fresh water tank and give the grey and black water tanks a good flushing out at the same time.
Since I am learning to drive the coach, Richard had me drive up to the dump station. Holy cow is this thing huge! I’d only ever driven our old coach (a 34 footer) before. Those extra six feet make a huge difference. I can’t see the end of the coach from the drivers seat. Well, I’ll learn, but right now I have to admit that it is intimidating.
We pulled in our two slides and went up to spend several hours at the dump station. Ah, the joys of travel! Everything went according to plan until we got back to the site and went to put out our living room slide.
Some horrible noises later and a lot of four letter words, we discovered that the little arm that provides protection from billowing ended up beneath the slide topper awning, and as a result the right side arm of our Carefree Omega slide topper hung up and then bent. We managed to get the slide in all the way, but it wouldn’t go out again.
This morning we tried to figure out what our next move should be. Should we go on to visit our friend in Bowling Green, Ohio, as planned? Or should we go to Elkhart, Indiana, to see if we could get in to see a technician at the Monaco factory or one of the other RV shops in the area?
It was in the midst of this decision that Richard had a great idea. He posted on iRV2 about our dilemma. Shortly someone posted that they had some of the very arms that we bent. They say said we could have them if we could pick them up. Richard said we’d be happy to take them off his hands. We asked where he was.
What luck! He told us he’d be in Indianapolis! So we traveled down to Indy today and we’ll meet him for the arms tomorrow. We’re staying tonight at Lake Haven Retreat. Then it’s on to Bowling Green, where our friend will (hopefully) be able to help us change out the arm and fix the slide topper.