Sunday morning dawned and it was going to be a beautiful day. We decided to take off and show Roamy and family some of our town's attractions. Roamy is interested in Nuclear Power plants, so we decided to drive by the Byron Nuclear Generating Station which is a nuclear power plant located in Byron...2 miles east of the Rock River. The reactors house two pressurized power reactors, they first began operation in September 1985 and August 1987 respectively. The plant was built for Commonwealth Edison and is currently owned and operated by Exelon Corporation.
We had quite an adventure. As we approached the plant, Joe said, "Maybe you shouldn't take pictures here, Balisha." He went on kidding, "Homeland Security might think you are a terrorist." We both chuckled...Roamy looked worried. The little Gnomes were sitting in their special seats in the car until we neared the plant. They wanted a better look, so they climbed on the dash board and watched the huge looming towers, with clouds of steam rising, coming closer.
I decided to wait till we got real close to take them outside for a photo.
We stopped the car and I got out with Roamy to take some pictures. As I held him up to get a better look, a police car came out of nowhere. The officer rolled the window down and said, "You can't take pictures here." Joe got out of the car and went over to talk to the police woman. He explained about the Gnomes visiting and said that we were just taking pictures for my blog. I think the officer was wondering about our story. She was kind and let us go on our way. Whew! That was something...what if they had apprehended the Gnomes and took us in for questioning? I can just picture Roamy and Juliet in prison stripes.
After this encounter Juliet suggested that we do something a little less exciting. We were having steak for dinner and wanted some sweet corn to go with it. We headed into town and saw a sign advertising sweet corn.
We stopped the car and the gnomes jumped out and climbed up for a better look. Ansel stayed in the car to catch a nap. Roamy helped Joe pull back the husks of each ear of corn. We wanted the best for our company. The ears were bigger than the Gnomes...I wondered how they would be able to handle these big ears.
our next stop was at Lowden State Park, where a huge statue of an Indian stands looking out over the Rock River and area below.
Lorado Taft, who created the 50-foot statue as a tribute to Native Americans, is said to have thought of the figure one evening as he and other members of the Eagles' Nest colony stood gazing at the view from the bluffs. According to a story attributed to Taft, he and his colleagues tended to stand with their arms folded over their chests. The pose made him think of the Native Americans who were so reverent of the beauty of nature and who probably had enjoyed the same view. The statue was dedicated to all Native Americans, but has come to be known as the statue of Blackhawk. The picture below shows the mammoth size of this statue.
We met a family there, who were so interested in the story of the visiting Gnomes. They thought it was a wonderful story and wanted to know where Roamy had been and where he was going next.
Roamy and Juliet bid goodbye to this big guy. Juliet was glad to be back in the car. This statue stands on a bluff over the river and she is a little leery of heights.
She was watching as we left the park.
Roamy was more interested in the Smokey the Bear sign...
relieved that the threat of forest fires was low today.
There are 23 teepees located in different places all over town. Artists painted them all so different. The artwork was created as a fund-raising tool for the restoration of Black Hawk and the 100th anniversary celebration that was held in July. They are all painted so beautifully and stand there through all kinds of weather. The gnomes weren't satisfied with viewing from the car. They had to hop out and inspect this up close. Roamy dabbles in oils and is very interested in art of all kinds.
They wanted to climb up for a better look and little Ansel wanted to go clear to the top. I kept looking around for that police car, because we had driven in the grass...right up to the teepee. We coaxed them down and all got back in the car. We were all tired and decided to ride along the river and head home. There were boats on the river. It was finally a nice weekend and it seemed that everyone was out enjoying the scenery and weather. We got home and fell into our chairs. The gnomes climbed into the big red chair and I gave Joe a glance. He had a little frown on his face. He loves his chair, but is cordial and will share it with the gnomes...but after they are gone, he wants it back.