For Love of a Peach…

…a day trip was planned.


Sunday morning, we made a run to Illinois, in search of peaches.  


With the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers over the road, in a few places, the ferries were not running. 

We drove north on Hwy 79, with thoughts of crossing the Mississippi at Louisiana.


An overcast sky enhances the color of the engine of a train, at a rural crossing, along Hwy 79. 

Click this link to explore Little Dixie Highway.


A little rain didn’t keep us from enjoying our journey.

Not far north of the railroad crossing, we found a detour sign (water over road at Clarksville). 

We happily followed the detour as it took us through a beautiful part of the country we are particularly fond of.


The Mississippi River at Louisiana Missouri



An Illinois farm along the Great River Road.


After crossing the Mississippi River, we traveled Hwy 54 to Hwy 96, the Great River Road Illinois.

If the Brussels Ferry, at Grafton and the Golden Eagle Ferry, farther south, were running, we would have crossed via those boats (our favorite mode of crossing the rivers).  But then, we would have missed finding beautiful St. Agnes at Belleview. 

When we stopped to take a couple of pictures, a car stopped beside us.  The driver asked if we would like to hear the history of St. Agnes and invited us inside. 

After introducing ourselves, J and I accompanied the man and his wife through the doors of the little church building.

Construction began in 1899 and was completed in 1900.  The cost was $600.  The bricks were made in the village of Belleview.


When the archdiocese closed the church, the couple, owning the ground surrounding the building, purchased it and became it’s caretakers. 

Some restoration has been done and more is planned.


The stained glass windows are not original to the building.  They were installed during the 1940’s.



A balcony or choir loft is above the doorway.


This window is above the entry.  The cord, at right, is the bell pull.  We were treated to the joyful sound of an old time church bell.

We saw more of Belleview before continuing our Sunday drive.


At one time, this was the general store.  The bricks were made in Belleview.


This building is an old doctor’s office, being restored by a resident of the village.


I don’t have information about this building.  It looks like it was a store of some sort. 

I am always amazed at how flowers survive beyond the lives of old buildings.

Tiger Lily

It would be interesting to hear the stories these old buildings could tell.


In flood stage, the Illinois River crested, Saturday.


We traveled to Kampsville IL., in hopes of finding a way around the water.  As we were figuring it out, we passed by a produce stand offering Illinois peaches. 

We purchased two bags of peaches.  J also bought two jars of pickled beets.

Illinois peaches will be ripe for picking, at Eckert’s Orchard, beginning mid-July.


Corn, Soy Beans, and Canada Geese, in the flood waters of the Illinois River.


Our home is about 15 or so miles from the Mississippi River.  Before the nearest ferry permanently closed a year or two ago, we were only about an hour from Pere Marquette State Park.

Sunday morning, we left home at 9:00 AM.  With detours and stops, it was just after 1PM when we arrived at Pere Marquette Lodge, where we planned to have lunch. 

We didn’t even have to look at the menu.


We ordered fried chicken, served family style, with mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, slaw and hot rolls. 

We were famished after our journey.


I know, it’s not good for us…but once in awhile it’s okay…right?


The massive stone fireplace, at Pere Marquette Lodge


The inscription reads;

In August of the year 1673 Father Marquette used this site as a Landmark and Camping Point.



Whether staying as guests, at the lodge, or dropping by for supper, we’ve spent many lovely hours sitting in these chairs, visiting with family and friends, having a glass of wine or reading and relaxing.


This photo was taken from the terrace, at the lodge, looking across Hwy 100, where you can see the Illinois River out of her banks, up to the road. 

Many times, we drive over to Grafton IL, where we pick up catfish sandwiches, take them to the park and sit beside the river while we have lunch. The place where we usually sit is under water, in this picture.


Pere Marquette bids us adieu.


Would you believe the fellow in the snazzy car picked me up?


Pelicans on the Illinois River

We enjoyed our Sunday drive. 

I had a wonderful time writing about it.


Kris said...

Hi Pat - What a lovely Sunday drive you had! I just love those! The history and photos made such a great post! I always love to read your reminiscent stories and back road destinations are the icing on the cake! I'm so very glad for the internet and coming across your blog. It's the best! Thank you. Kris

Rowan said...

Lots of lovely places on your drive, I like the old buildings at Belleview. I'm amazed at the state of the rivers, you must have had a huge amount of rain for them to be this high in June.

Southern Lady said...

Oh, what a beautiful day you and J had, and I loved seeing it all through your lens, Pat. Beautiful pictures and places you visited. I especially enjoyed seeing the old buildings and church at Belleview. Your travel stories always make me want to go see those places for myself. Thank you for sharing your lovely Sunday drive with us.

The Cedar Shingled Barn said...

What lovely pictures! Just found your blog this morning. Love it!


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said... got the peaches! Not to mention a fantastic Sunday drive!
No place to drive to here in Southern California...sigh...

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

What a lovely tour Pat!
Isn't the Mississippi amazing! Love the restaurant too, so much character!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a nice day trip - thanks for sharing it with us. The stain glass in the church is beautiful. The fried chicken looks good, and yes it is ok to indulge once in a while. :D

thestonerabbit said...

Pat, that was just the BEST post!! I so enjoyed being a part of your outing!! Wow....the flooding is amazing, isn't it? I wonder if that amount is more/less/same as the summer of 93? That was a rough flooding summer, too!

It's so much fun to see old buildings...that's how I felt during our visit to Troy! Thanks for sharing some history with us!

OMG..that lunch of yours looked delicious!! What a lovely place,too!

Yum.....fresh peaches...nothing much better!

Have a great Tues!! L, dan

Barb~Bella Vista said...

So lovely, Pat. You need to be working for a magazine. I love, love the train.

Barb ♥

Kathy said...

What a lovely post. I really enjoyed the pictures and all your descriptions. Sounds like you had a wonderful drive. Now, what are you doing with the peaches??

Helen said...

I went to Girl Scout camp in Grafton, ate peaches from Eckert's over DQ ice cream almost every summer evening of my childhood, Pere Marquette is one of my favorite places in the world! You just made my day with this post!!!!!

Sheila said...

Mmmmm...I'm ready for peaches to ripen too! Loved your little Sunday drive & the pretty pictures of the old buildings. Our rivers are out of their banks too & I'm always amazed at the power of the flowing water. I enjoyed your trip!

Dana and Daisy said...

that's along drive for two bags of peaches, Pat, but the fried chicken made it all worthwhile! Yes it's not bad once in a while! And makes life worth living! lol!

Stephanie said...

what a great trip those peaches led you on! I absolutely love the way you share your stories and photos. And I am in awe of J - my husband has great patience for my photo taking but will never stop the car or slow down for me to take a picture. boo! That's why all my car trip photos are taken at a very fast shutter speed out the car window!

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

And I had a wonderful time reading it! A catfish sandwich. I haven't had that before. But I enjoyed fried catfish as a child. You and J sure get out and enjoy life.

Shelia said...

Hi Dear Pat! Oh, I sure did enjoy going along on your Sunday drive! Now I'm very short so I had a hard time getting out of the back seat! :)
What beautiful photos and those old buildings. It would be great to know their stories! You must have had so much rain for your favorite park to be under water. You know there's the first hurricane of the season heading toward the gulf. Hopefully it doesn't look like it is coming to Galveston, but we're already getting some rains from it! That's a good thing.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Now that was a Sunday Drive! Beautiful photos and all of it so interesting. The fried chicken looks delicious and I had no idea that Pelicans would come so far in land and on a river??? I thought they were salt water only birds. I really enjoyed your post today!

♥ Kathy said...

That church is gorgeous and I love old buildings too :)

Beverly said...

What gorgeous country this is. I love it when you take us on drives with you.

And, a catfish sandwich sounds delish!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Pat, y'all are so adventurous! I love that you just take off a drive, and I love that you stop and photograph the views for us. How great that someone stopped told you the history and gave you a tour of the church. All of your photos are, as usual, fabulous. You are such a good advertisement for your area of the country. I loved your post. laurie

W.C.Camp said...

Great trip pictures. Loved the church and the old brick store. I showed Diana your new car and she is so ENVIOUS!!! Really a nice pictorial. Maybe you need your own travel channel TV show! W.C.C.

Kathleen said...

What a great post! You said you were going to go on a trip for peaches to me, and you did!
You know you get a special blessing for going into that church you visited. We always prayed for something when we went to a new church. Prayers can't hurt! :)

sue in mexico mo said...

I enjoyed your Sunday drive. Thanks for sharing.

Sheree said...

Oh Pat! I love love LOVE Pere Marquette Lodge! Though I haven't stayed their since gosh, maybe late 90's. We always stayed in the Cabins. Always felt a bit like going camping...of course without going camping! Thanks for taking us along on your drive!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Love the idea of a sunday drive...but so sad about the flooding!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I always enjoy your road trips. Thanks for taking us along.

Linda said...

What a beautiful place you live in. Speaking as a gal who lives in such a dry state, I loved all the water pics. Thanks for sharing!

Joyce said...

Thanks for taking me along on your drive. I think you needed a life preserver too!

Suzie at "The Southern Gate" said...

How fun! I enjoyed the scenic route. Now if you lived here in South'd just have to drive about 1/2 mile down to the local peach stand. But look at all the beauty that you would've missed! :)

salmagundi said...

I so enjoyed this post. It reminded me of several trips to Illinois when our son was getting his doctorate at the U of I during flooding years in the 1990s. I'm thinking peach ice cream, now!!! Sally

Michelle said...

I remember hiking in Pere Marquette as a Girl Scout so many years ago. I'm always blessed by your posts, which take me to my childhood homes in St. Louis County and Illinois. Greetings from Houston.

JKW said...

Whoa, thank you. You took me back to my home state. It is wonderful to see the IL river, the old buildings and the green of IL. The old building you didn't know about looked like an old dress shop in southern IL, but you were too far south for it to be that one. I love the history, we took the Spoon River Anthology trip in the 1970s. A beautiful experience for the kids and us. Thank you again for sharing. Blessings, Janet

New Every Morning said...

What a wonderful day trip!
Your pictures are absolutely amazing!!! (Love your new profile pic, too by the way.)

Peaches on top of a beautiful drive? Who could ask for more?

Best Mobiles View said...

Nice topic in a useful blog )
& that's my blog it's about Best Mobile Phones Reviews, Latest Mobiles, Mobile News, etc.
I hope you visit me soon .

Jeanne said...

Good morning Pat, I had a wonderful time reading about your trip. It was more like an adventure with the flooding river causing all the detours and turns. The peaches look divine. My sister's peach tree is getting ripe but all the peaches are like golf balls or smaller. However, we did make four batches of peach preserves. Mmmmm, so good but lots of work cutting those little guys up.

I love a Sunday drive. I can see you and J do too.

Hugs, Jeanne

LillyB said...

Your pictures are crystal clear and beautiful. Fried chicken made me hungry lol
My mama lives in Pascagoula Mississippi. I love visiting the little towns arond her!
I really enjoy your blog!!

Saphron said...

Aww! My parents stayed at Pere Marquette about ten years ago, for a weekend. They hardly EVER do ANYTHING like that, so I remembered the name. :D

Pamela said...

I think satisfaction and contentment from the pleasure in life outweighs the risks of fried chicken!

Susie Q said...

You two travel like we love to do!!
Not as often theses days...with Grace's schedule...but oh to just hop in the car and ramble...investigate...taloe the unknown path! Your ohotos were amazing Pat. Wow!