Thursday, August 18, 2016

LaSalle Canyon August 18, 2016

We met in the Lodge's Lobby and walked from there.  We started on the Campanula trail to Wildcat Canyon.  On to the bluff trail and down the 155 stairs by Lonetree Canyon.  River trail into LaSalle Canyon.  Back on the river trail, bypassing Eagle's Cliff and Lover's Leap.  Finished with a relaxing ice cold drink in the Cafe!!!  Very humid hiking today!
37 hikers start of on the hike for today.

This kiosk is where the trail begins at the East end of the Lodge parking lot

Indian Pipe. Indian pipe is a perennial wildflower with a wide geographic distribution throughout the United States, from Maine to California and from Florida to Alaska. It is absent from the southwest, intermountain west and the central Rocky mountains. However, Indian Pipe is not a commonly encountered wildflower.

I was kind of behind the group, so I didn't stay long at this plant.  Don't really know what is going on here.  But the red berries caught my eye.

Check out the base of this Green Dragon.  Right where the "dragon" was there is the seed pod now.  Eventually it will turn bright red.

Water is still falling in Wildcat Canyon.  Photo was taken from the East Overlook of the canyon.

Fern Leaf False Foxglove

Sandstone Point. Its really time for a break.

Burl at the top of Lone tree Canyon

Nice little Canyon in the stream coming out of LaSalle / Tonti Canyon on the way to the Illinois River

Ken, who hikes with us occasionally, was the Canoeist.

LaSalle Canyon, We just arrived

Ron and Jack getting a bit refreshed with LaSalle Waterfall.

All of the Walker's Club has invaded LaSalle Canyon.  No wading or swimming!

Little Fungi on the moss as we were leaving the Canyon

These Indian Pipes start out with their heads bowed down.  As they grow, they will straighten.  When fully bloomed, they will be straight up, and then they will lose their seeds.

Touch-Me-Not or Jewelweed are just starting to bloom.  Some of these blooms are also bright orange.

See the snake in the background.  We found him in the "Snake tree"  Come to a Walker's club hike to find out where this is located.

On the river trail, break spot.  Eagles Cliff in the background.

Sign in the Cafe as we enjoy a ice cold drink after the hot and humid hike. 

I will leave you with this: One day your life will flash before your eyes.  Make sure it is worth watching.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Vermillion River Area- Matthiessen State Park 08-11-2016

Today the Walker's Club finally got to hike in the Vermillion River area at Matthiessen State Park.  It has been closed for quite some time because of erosion issues.  This park is a multi use park that encompasses, cross country ski trails, horse trails, mountain biking trails and hiking trails.   There was a smaller group that decided to hike in Starved Rock State Park, so Joe took a small group and hiked to Wildcat Canyon, Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff.  We all arrived back at the Lodge at the same time.
Check out Karl's hat...... that is not a tassel.  That is a butterfly!!!

Today we had about 35 hikers. 

This must have taken the trail crew a long time to clear the path.  What tales this tree could tell. 

Little stream right off the path.  Grandkids had fun looking for frogs.

Most of the hike today, thankfully was shaded.

Don't know the fungus names, but found a couple today.

This is what is left of the Jack in the Pulpit.  The green seed pod is is the center near the bottom.

Just starting blooming.  Very large and is everywhere.  Not sure of the name.

We took another break by the "Burl"  Not as large as the ones at Starved Rock, but still impressive.

We went on horse trails for a while.  There were heavily used.  We had to pay attention where we were stepping.

This is a sample section of the trail where they fixed it so it is now usable for all.
Couldn't resist taking this colorful group photo.
These yellow flowers are still everywhere.  They brighten up the place.

Good thing we were hikers, we are allowed everywhere.

Breaks are encouraged, however, be careful where you sit.  This nice resting spot is climbing with poison ivy.

Thank you! IERPB!  Nice job!

Trail courtesy!  We didn't see any bikes or horses.  All was good.
Little colorful mushrooms peeking out.  

I will leave you with this: There is no wi-fi in the forest, but you will find a better connection.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Matthiessen State Park Dells Area - Club Picnic

Feature photo for a great hike!
Hot day today!  It wasn't really the heat it is the humidity.  Who's kidding who, it was HOT!  There were about 40 hikers today that joined in for the hike to Matthiessen State Park Dells Area.  The waterfalls were fabulous.  Today was also the Club's Annual Picnic.  Everyone brought a dish to pass.  Great job everyone!  Special thanks for those of you that brought extra table service and tablecloths.

First we hike the upper dells then the lower dells

A little bit of catching up from the previous week.

This tree is near the bridge by the Lake Falls

Matthiessen Lake Falls

Matthiessen Lake

Joanne was the recipient of a butterfly landing

Were all heading down to the water by the waterfall.

Lake Falls from in the dells area

Giant's Bathtub

I have never really noticed this root ball before.  Kind of interesting.

Rock hoping is always a challenge

We are all so grateful for these stepping stones.

This fungus was almost clear.  Very interesting.

Yes this is a stroller!  The trails at Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks are NOT suitable for strollers.  The walker's club ended up carrying this broken stroller and 5 bags of garbage out of the park today.  Thanks to all who helped.

Cascade Falls.  There is no swimming and wading in any of the waterfalls, canyons or dells areas. 

This yellow wildflower is abundant here.

All waiting in line for a great lunch

We sure know how to fill a shelter

One of our Walker members brought his grandson.  It was his 7th birthday. "Happy Birthday Jett"

Today was Cocoa's 7th Birthday also.  "Happy Birthday Cocoa!" Yes she got her birthday cupcake just like Jett's blue one.
I will leave you with this: Last summer one of our Walker Club members wrote a poem.  I think it is time to re post it.  I hope you enjoy. 

Leave No Trace
Parks are gifts to you and me, 
a haven to go with sights to see.

I am glad there is a place, 
where I can go and leave no trace.

John Muir said our soul restores
 when we share the great outdoors.

Yet there seems to be some space
where green gives way to others trace.

A plastic bottle, a soda can, 
a candy wrapper in the sand.

Why would one behold such beauty 
and disregard a greater duty,
to stow the trash in its place, 
and keep the park without ones' trace?

Perhaps we'll leave this legacy, 
for generations yet to see.

I hope my children visit this place, 
and say, "Dad came, but left no trace."

"He loved this place, but left no trace."

Thank you, and well said Jack!