The Rend Lake College Institute of Lifelong Learning is offering a trip, packed with points of interest, for just about every traveller. On Sept. 14, participants will explore new and old sites in Southwestern Illinois with Roamin’ Ron as their guide.
A charter bus will depart at 8 a.m. from the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion. Passengers can also board at 8:30 a.m. at Big John’s parking lot in Benton and at 9 a.m. at the Rend Lake College Student Center.
From there, Roamin’ Ron will guide passengers on a westward tour toward Sparta.
The first stop on the tour will be the Department of Natural Resource’s World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta.
The complex is opening its doors to the public less than two weeks before the tour. It features numerous points of interest for the avid sportsman as well as activities which are right on target for novices with their sights set on knowing more about the sport.
Included on the complex’s more than 1,500 acres of land, 250 acres of water and inside the recreation building are 100 trap fields, two sporting clay courses, skeet shooting, an ATV demonstration area, a cowboy action shooting corral and a championship 3-D archery course.
Following the World Shooting and Recreation Complex, the tour will visit Mary’s River Covered Bridge in Randolph County, between Chester and Bremen.
Completed in 1854, when Chester boasted a booming marketplace along the Mississippi River, Mary’s River Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Southern Illinois and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The tour will then stop for a break and a bite to eat at Reid’s Harvest House - famous in Chester for its 35-foot-long buffet of homemade dishes.
After lunch, the tour will head to Randolph County to visit the Liberty Bell of the West within its enclosed shrine in Kaskaskia.
The 650-pound bell was a gift from King Louis XV of France to the citizens of Kaskaskia in 1741. It travelled from New Orleans by way of the Mississippi River and was rung when George Roger Clark captured the village of Kaskaskia for the Americans on July 4, 1778. It is larger than the Liberty Bell of the East.
The group will stop at St. Mary Antique Mall before participating in a tour of the City of Chester and heading home. Arrival in Benton, Marion and at RLC is tentativley scheduled for 5-6 p.m.
Tour fees, lunch, and charter bus transportation are all included in the $69 registration fee.
Additional information about the tour is available by calling the RLC Community Education Department at (618) 437-5321, Ext 1367 / 1267.