We took a mini respite this week to Southern Illinois, where the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet up.  I had been wanting to say at the Pere Marquette State Park for years, and the lodge, built during the CCC did not disappoint.

And our beautiful stone cabin:

My new travel spinning wheel got its first trip.  Very fun to have along:

And second on my personal agenda was to go to Elsah, Illinois, home of Principia College, designed in the 1930’s by famed California Arts & Crafts Architect Bernard Maybeck.  There are I think 13 of his original buildings, and the campus has expanded a bit since the initial concept, some results better than others.  Let’s just say that 1960’s campus architecture was uniformly bad.  It is one of the most picturesque campuses that I have ever seen, situated on the bluffs above the Mississippi, and very secluded.

Some of his buildings:

And my favorite, the “Mistake House”, which was really just suppose to be a temporary structure where he tried out different construction techniques.  It is apparently fond with the students as well.

Next time, I will call ahead to get a walking tour of the campus.  We were limited to a driving tour only.

And then we went on to the Dan list which included the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site, which was very interesting.  He knows much more about their expedition than I, but I learned a lot.  We then stopped at the National Great Rivers Museum, and got an abbreviated tour of the locks and dams (some guy had a bug fly in his ear and we had to leave so he could go get it taken out—no kidding).

Driving down the Great Rivers Road was exquisitely beautiful, especially near the bluffs of Elsah.

The next day was Hannibal, MO.  We learned the story behind Mark Twain’s pen name.  And last was a stop in gorgeous Quincy, IL, another river town that I have heard about for years.  All I remembered was that it was supposed to have really great Architecture, and we were not disappointed.  That is definitely a return visit.  I did not get photos here, but it was street after street, after street of beautiful homes dating as far back as the mid 1800’s.