Friday, July 29, 2011

Carbondale, IL to Elizabethtown, IL - 70 miles

Today we are off to Elizabethtown, IL where my roommate Marnie R has friends and she is hosting a Fish Fry tonight! There is even supposed to be some Brats for someone who is not a fan of fish! Guess who that is?? :-)
Everyone is excited.
We are staying at 2 B & B's, the River Rose B & B and the Grand Rose Hotel - an Illinois state historic site built about 1830 - as well at a private house since lodging is so limited. The Fish Fry is at the gazebo by the river. It is going to be a lot of fun. There is literally no more room at the inn, so I am staying with Marnie R at her friend Nancy's house about 12 miles away.
The Grand Rose Hotel B & B
Built in 1914 in a picturesque rivertown, the River Rose Inn Bed & Breakfast is unique with spectacular views of the Ohio River. This was the lovely historic home of Ed Wall, a direct descendant of James McFarland, who founded and named the town after his wife, Elizabeth in 1812.
Elizabethtown is a village in Hardin County, IL along the Ohio River. The population is about 350. 
The American frontier lacked an adequate infrastructure for the shelter and hospitality of travelers. Many states and territories, including Illinois, tried to deal with this problem by merging the right to sell whiskey by the drink with the duty to provide beds for travelers. A frontier establishment that sold whiskey by the drink and provided lodging services was called a tavern. The oldest wing of the Rose Hotel was operated as a frontier Ohio River tavern in the 1830s. It is believed to have been built by James McFarland (1776-1837), and was known as the McFarland Tavern or McFarlan Tavern.

The Elizabethtown tavern was aimed at river flatboats and light cargo vessels passing up and down the Ohio River. Prior to the invention of the railroad, rivers like the Ohio were the primary routes for the transportation of mixed and package freight throughout the North American interio
Elizabethtown was named after James McFarland's wife. The oldest Baptist church in Illinois is also located in Elizabethtown.

A view of the Ohio River from the Gazebo between the two B & Bs in Elizabethtown, IL.
"Rosie", a rescue, is now a formal greeter of guests at the River Rose B & B.
The historic Rose Hotel placque.

The Ohio River is beautiful. It is so hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, she was over her banks and had flooded all the way to the front door of the River Rose B & B. The pictures the owners, Bruce and Sue, showed us were amazing.
 Another view of the Ohio River from the grounds of the Grand Rose Hotel.
 A huge 3 x 5 barge [three barges wide and five barges long] makes its way up river fully loaded with coal.
 A view from the gazebo down to the floating restaurant.
 The riders all dig in at the fish fry feast hosted by Marnie R and her friends (bottom right).
 If anyone left hungry it was their own fault! Fried catfish, hush puppies, green beans & potatoes, corn, fresh tomatoes, homemade peach cobbler and chess pie and some brats for the non fish eater in the group! There was enough to feed an army! It was delicious!
Bill K, Rich G and Mike (Marnie's husband) catch up over some wonderful food!
 Sue M, Yvonne, Nancy, and Louise enjoy some of the great food!
Jeff M, Vicki L and Paul G seem to be enjoying the meal.
 Kudos to the cooks -- Al and Roy!! Awesome job!

With sated bellies we all wandered off to slumber! I at Nancy's house with a group of absolutely wonderful animals.
I got to sleep with the couch potato dog -- "Molly by Golly" - a Pit Bull rescue. Once she parked herself on the bed she wasn't moving, so we compromised -- she got all the middle and I squeezed in on the edge. She was so much fun. She is an older dog, but she still has puppy dreams. She ran and barked and played. I suspect she was up and down the trail a few times last night. It was great to spend some time with such a great animal. I want a pet so bad, but I know that my lifestyle does not allow one, so I live vicariously through the pets of friends.

Marnie R also got to spend some quality with her pet, "Ida" a Jack Russell/Corgie mix, who is vacationing with friends while her mom pedals across the country.

Tomorrow we are off to Grand Rivers, Kentucky.

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