A Few Days in Champaign, IL

Champaign, IL

Sunday morning we left Shady Creek COE Park along the Mississippi River southwest of Davenport, IA and headed east into Illinois.  After about 200 miles we pulled into D & W Lake RV Park just north of Champaign.

This is a nice little park sitting next to a small lake, giving us a nice view outside our front window.

Our Torrey, UT friends, Larry and Annette, are familiar with Champaign (Larry lived here in his “younger” days).   When they saw on Facebook that we were here, they quickly informed us that we should not miss enjoying a lemon custard with cold fudge from Jarlings Ice Cream and Frozen Custard Shop.  They sure were correct, the dish was delicious!

A young maiden enjoys a well-deserved treat

We spent three days in Champaign but it rained hard throughout day one and the temperature was in the 90s with high humidity on day two.  Finally the sun was out and the humidity dropped just a bit on day three so we headed into town to ride bikes around the campus of the University of Illinois.

While in an urban setting, there is a definite campus feeling to the school, with two quad areas in the center of the academic area.

The McFarland Carillon (Bell Tower) on the South Quad

Looking north toward the Illini Union Bldg. on the Main Quad

Foellinger Auditorium at the south end of the Main Quad

Memorial Stadium is home to the Fighting Illini football team.  The stadium, completed in 1924, is a memorial to the students from the school who died in World War I.  Their names are engraved on the nearly 200 pillars surrounding the stadium’s facade.

Memorial Stadium

A beautiful statue located in front of the main entrance honors Red Grange, a legendary figure in college football who played here in the 1920s.

The stadium has been renovated numerous times over the year and has a seating capacity of 60,670 .  An interesting story involves the original construction of the playing field.  Heavy rain during the construction resulted in a bulldozer sinking into the field.  It was decided the expense of removing the bulldozer would have been greater than leaving it buried under the field, and it remains there today.  Is it a myth or reality, who knows!

Across the street from Memorial Stadium is State Farm Center.  State Farm Center opened as an Assembly Hall in 1963.  From 1963–1965 Assembly Hall was the largest dome structure in North America until the opening of the Astrodome in Houston.  The roof is supported by 614 miles of quarter inch steel wire wrapped at the base of the dome under intensive pressure.  The building is undergoing renovation outside so we couldn’t get inside.

State Farm Arena

Returning the the motorhome we enjoyed a beautiful view over the lake at sunset.

Next up on our journey is a short visit to Indianapolis.  More on that later . . .

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18 Responses to A Few Days in Champaign, IL

  1. Gay says:

    You guys have sure found some pretty places to stay…what a nice view! Love those interesting facts and stories like the one about the bulldozer…makes exploring so much fun!

    The lemon custard with cold fudge sure looks yummy! And the sunset perfect! Nice photo Pam.

  2. That sunset shot is perfect reflection! Great capture!
    If there is a strong earth movement, we might see the bulldozer in layers just like the rocks 🙂

  3. Nancy says:

    Such pretty places you get to visit! Love seeing them all. The sunset picture is very pretty. But I really like the young maiden!

  4. explorvistas says:

    I remember when the Chicago Bears called Memorial Stadium their home field a few years ago while Soldier Field was being renovated. We were on the campus last year…definitely a nice setting. 🙂

  5. Larry says:

    I always enjoy looking around college campus’

  6. Laurel says:

    The team should be named “The Bulldozers,” don’t you think? ;-)) We always enjoy biking around university campuses—glad the rain subsided so that you could get out and show us what it looks like. The combo of lemon and chocolate sounds yummy!

  7. The custard sounds amazing and the sunset on the lake beautiful.

  8. Sherry says:

    That is a glorious sunset and the custard sounds delicious. Wish we’d known about it when we were in Illinois. Unless, of course, you have to be a young maiden to order it.

  9. Sue says:

    Mmmmmm, the lemon custard has my mouth watering, with or without the chocolate!

    I wonder what future paleontologists will think about the bulldozer when they unearth it in a thousand years?

  10. Marsha Weaver says:

    What a nice day of sightseeing. I added several of your photos to my Pinterest. We would like to visit that area on our way to Houston one year.
    We love visiting college campuses. Looks like another beauty.

  11. LuAnn says:

    It has been years since I have been to Champaign, since I left Illinois and headed west, right after high school. Glad the rain subsided and you were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

  12. We are stopped on I-75 just south of Dayton, Ohio due to an accident then hopefully heading to Indianapolis too. Glad we have our camper with amenities.

  13. That sunset photo is a beauty!

    Your humidity sounds awful…at least you had a pretty view from your rig!

  14. geogypsy2u says:

    Your photos of UofI bring back memories from youth when friends went to school there.

  15. Jeff says:

    For sure your heat and humidity do not make for a pleasant outdoor experience. Glad it cleared up for you. But to honest a sauna sounds great right now….

  16. Jim and Barb says:

    Davenport and Champaign, still more towns I used to travel to for work and more towns I never got out to see the sights. Amazing what you can miss in some of these towns if you are not focused on discovery!

  17. Jodee Gravel says:

    Love your little lake – it’s so nice to have a water view. Beautiful campus. I’m still in awe over all the grass there is “over here” . Every place has acres of lawn – even front yards! Fun story about the bulldozer…..

  18. Dutch Lion says:

    Great post! I can’t wait to visit again! I-L-L!!!

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