Thursday, July 5, 2018

Starved Rock, French Canyon, Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff 07-05-2018

Some of the photos are a little blurry.  For some reason I am having trouble getting the photos from my phone to my computer.  I am now taking the photos with my camera.  It takes a little longer to focus and I tend to be impatient.  Today's hike was a little low in participation.  Not sure if the weather played a part in the attendance or if it was the holiday.  There were about 25 hot hikers.  No breeze anywhere.  Sun was out and so was the humidity.  We left the lobby and headed to Starved Rock for a bit of history.  Next,was a rewarding walk into French Canyon.  We finished the day walking to Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff.

Life is Good

Leaving the Lobby.  Heading out!

Our first stairway of the day. 150 steps down only (for now)

Waiting for everyone to catch up at the base of Starved Rock

View of Lover's Leap from the top of Starved Rock

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center from the top of Starved Rock.

East end of Plum Island from the top of Starved Rock

Flags at the top of Starved Rock.  Happy 4th of July!

Starved Rock Lodge from the top of Starved Rock

I love trees.  This Oak tree is at the top of Starved Rock

Next up is French Canyon

Nice walk into French

Terry met a guest going into French

Wait in line and be patient.  This is one of the busiest canyons in the park.  It is the closest canyon to the visitor center and the Lodge (not counting Fox Canyon).

French Canyon waterfall, looking good.

What a great looking group!  Shirts are from the Mega Hike in April. 

One way in, one way out.  Now we have to waddle out.

Look who we found on our way to Eagle's Cliff.....

Found this piece of trash at Eagle's Cliff

View of the Lock and Dam from Eagle's Cliff

A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, monument, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. ... Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. Some even say this is vandalism. I consider it litter.

Lover's Leap

View of upper French Canyon Creek

This fascinating stinkhorn is often identified as "Mutinus elegans," but close inspection reveals that Phallus rubicundus has a clearly distinguished, separate head that holds the spore-saturated brown slime; species of Mutinus bear their slime on the upper part of a stem structure that lacks a clearly distinguished head.

Way too much trash for a short hike.  Really too much trash for any length of hike.

We have a couple of these signs at the Lodge.

Both trolleys are ready to go on tours today.

Purple Coneflowers in front of the Lodge.

Russian Sage in front of the Lodge

The best thing was a tall glass of water upon my return. Life is Good!
I will leave you with this: For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence, look up at the sky and contemplate how amazing life is!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

St. Louis, Kickapoo, Sac and Aurora Canyons 06-07-2018

Aurora Canyon

Today's hike we all met in the Lodge's Lobby and headed out to St. Louis Canyon.  On the way we crossed Aurora (some went down into that canyon on the way back). Next we crossed over Sac and then Kickapoo Canyons.  At the half way point was St. Louis Canyon.  Perfect weather today!

Started at the Lodge

How many of the Illinois Symbols can you name?

Well here are the answers... did you get any correct?

46 hikers on their way to St. Louis Canyon

Looking down into Aurora Canyon

I have no idea what this flower is.  Kind of like a shooting star. 

Top of Sac Canyon

Wild Ginger plant and flower

Flower from Wild Ginger

I love trees!  This is on the West Bluff trail on the way to St. Louis Canyon

A lone Campanula flower hanging onto the Sandstone by the stairs

I did tell everyone about the steps involved today.  They all know they have to go back up.

More St. Peter's Sandstone

Not sure on this flower.  Too many yellow wildflowers to remember

another yellow wildflower

Tall Anemone


St. Louis Canyon Waterfall

Rock wall in St. Louis Canyon

Walker's Club in St. Louis Canyon

Walker's Club in St. Louis Canyon 

Snail on foliage in St. Louis Canyon

Hang on little fella

Tree roots on the St. Louis Canyon trail

Spiderwort, This one needs some rainfall

Real Solomon's Seal.  The Fake Solomon's Seal does not have the flowers underneath and has a fuzzy coming out the tip.

Campanula Flower (in the bellflower family)

This spiderwort was more shaded.

Maidenhair Fern.  This is my favorite fern.  I really only know 1 fern. But I still like it better than the rest.  This can be found in Aurora Canyon

Uneven sandstone steps going into Aurora Canyon

Aurora Canyon.  The sun shining through today was just perfect.  The Poison Ivy to get in this canyon from the West Bluff Trail was BAD.  If you go here, please make sure you are wearing pants.  It is on both sides of the trail multiple times.

Looking out from Aurora Canyon

Great photo opportunities in Aurora Canyon everywhere you look.

Looking out of Aurora Canyon to the sky

This little seed pod replaces the Jack/Pulpit in the Jack in the Pulpit.  Later on in the year it will become red.

We've been to St. Louis now we are finishing at the Lodge.
I will leave you with this: He who limps is still walking.