Shelbyville is located in central Illinois, about 4 hour drive (south on Hwy 57) from Chicago, near Decatur. Tiny little town nestled between the farmland and 26 mile long man-engineered lake. Tons of different campgrounds around, few marinas where you can rent a boat, and Walmart. As much as I don't like Walmarts, it actually came very handy, picking up last minute needed food, extra sleeping bag or poison ivy potion... yup...
We picked Coon Creek Campground, Tim and his family used to camp there back in the days, and we decided to go to the same place. I reserved a buddy site, large enough to accommodate all of us - one RV, four tenets, 2 screen tents and we still had some grass left to set up washers game. Site 106, with flush restrooms right across the street - perfect! The site was perfectly located in the woods, so the privacy was not an issue. Below is the panoramic photo of our set up. Couldn't have asked for more perfect spot in the whole campground!
First few days of our stay were little cloudy, rainy and cooler. Sleeping in the tent while it was raining wasn't too much fun. I have a hard time sleeping in general, so imagine the noise of the rain drops on the tent... did not help at all... Red wine, my friend, helped!!!
[The whole camping crew - 1st Annual Family Camping Trip, Lake Shelbyville, July 2103]
We didn't get to use our boat as much as we wanted to due to the weather, but we managed to get on the water every day between the rain storms, and the guys took advantage of the weather and spend some time fishing. Even the cloudy/cooler weather was fun to hang out on the boat, drinking wine and enjoy the quiet.
Around Wednesday the sun was shining and temperature started raising up. We packed up the boat and spend next 2 days on the lake. Lake Shalbyville is amazing. Even though it was July 4th weekend, and a tons of people on the lake, we were able to find a quiet cove, and spend all the time we wanted in it, with no one else around. The lake is huge, and definitely enough room for everyone to spread around.
Well, one thing for sure - we are doing it again over July 4th holiday in 2014. Two things I'd change - not to bring so much food, that I could feed the small army of french soldiers. Maybe get a small camper, you, know a travel trailer that we can pull behind a truck... r-pod would totally do. But I guess I have to just settle for a larger tent for now... one can dream! everything else was nearly perfect!