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.