Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oct. 8, 2015 - Lover's Leap, Eagles Clif, LaSalle Canyon

I got this photo of the Sunrise this morning and knew it was going to be a Great Day!!  So far so good!

35 walkers today.  We left the lodge's lobby and went to LaSalle Canyon via the River Trail.  Took a stop at Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff.  Also went to Tonti Canyon.  Photo also shows the new paint on the road in front of the Lodge.

Early on the hike we found this down log with some character.  Great resting place.

Great view of Devil's Nose on the way to Lover's Leap

Took some time for a group photo on Lover's Leap

View of the Dam

Pelicans are still hanging around.  They are just passing through, on their way south for the winter.

View of Starved Rock State Park looking East from Eagle's Cliff.  Lots of color to change yet.

One of my reliable snakes in the "Snake tree"

View of the Illinois River, little bit of fall colors sprinkled in.

LaSalle Canyon Bridge

I managed to work myself to the back of the pack.  LaSalle Canyon.  Not a drop.

Looking out of LaSalle Canyon

Don is contemplating something in Tonti Canyon?????

Looking up in Tonti Canyon.  That's where all the colors are.

I think this is Winterberry Holly.  Kind of makes you think of Christmas time.  Just kind of.

Doll's Eyes

This is a Burl in a tree near Lone tree canyon.

Looking down into Wildcat Canyon - Sorry no waterfall today.

School group in Wildcat Canyon 70-90 feet below the East overlook

A few mushrooms on the way back to the Lodge.

Last stairway before we got back to the Lodge. 

New Kiosk by the trailhead at the Lodge.  It will eventually have information about the park.  There is also one located between the Visitor Center / Steps to the Lodge / and steps to Starved Rock. (When we left on our hike at 9:00a.m. the only thing here was a concrete slab.)

I will leave you with this: Cool breezes, piles of leaves, sunrises and sunsets, family and friends, laughs and hugs, and smiles are some of the best things in life and they are free!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Oct. 1st, Wildcat, Lonetree, Basswood Canyons

Today's Walker's Club left with 39 walker's and 1 dog (Cocoa).  We headed out on the Bluff trail toward Wildcat Canyon via Pontiac Canyon.  Very breezy day but comfortable.

Asters are everywhere

Brown marker means bluff trail with a gold circle meaning you are walking away from the Lodge and visitor center.

One of the two walkways over Pontiac Canyon

Dry Wildcat Canyon from the East overlook

West overlook in Wildcat Canyon

Geology Joe always takes photos of guests on his weekend hikes.  Today was his turn.

Some of the steps are a bit much

Great view of the Illinois River from Sandstone Point

Heres Burl.....

Coming down the steps by Lonetree Canyon

And still coming down.....

Lovely clouds.  View of the Illinois River from the River trail near Wildcat Canyon

All of us in Wildcat Canyon

View from Beehive Overlook.  Yes it is always overgrown without a view.

Thank you Tom from picking up trash.
It was great to go hiking today.  Can't wait to see when the colors change.

I will leave you with this: The same boiling water that softens potatoes, hardens eggs.  It's all about what your made of NOT your circumstances.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 10, 2015 Matthiessen State Park

Today's Walker's Club had about 34 walker's on a great weather day.  We started in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to Matthiessen State Park's North entrance off of Rt. 71.  The Lake shelter entrance.  (Deer Park Country Club).
Best photo of today's hike
And we're off!

Today much of our hike was on a multi use trail.  Cross Country Skiing and Horseback Riding

Common Thistle

Even though this looks purple, it is called "Great Blue Lobelia"
I've been trying to identify some butterflies lately.  I used this booklet to identify the following butterfly.  They sell these among other guides in the gift shop at the Lodge.  Other guides are available for wildflowers, birds and trees.

An American Lady Butterfly hanging out on some Daisy Fleabane

American Lady

Common Mildweed

One of my favorite photos from the walk around Lake Matthiessen

Matthiessen Lake

The "Boat House"  at Matthiessen Lake

Lake Falls

Waterfall near Giant's Bathtub

Ferns and Lichen on the sandstone walls

With 34 walker's someone has to be last.

Lots of roots on the trail

Lots of roots make up the trail

Pay attention, follow the leader, one step at a time.

Looking South and down into the Cascade Falls area (no waterfall today)

Poor Mandy, lots of cockle burrs today.  Her master Roseanne, says she takes many of them off herself.  Roseanne also will be giving here a good brushing when they get home. (Maybe that is why she got the burrs in the first place).

Rattlesnake Root

Looking at the bridge by the Lake Shelter that is over Lake Falls
I will leave you with this: Nothing in nature lives for itself. Rivers don't drink their own water.  Trees don't eat their own fruit.  Sun doesn't give heat for itself.  Flowers don't spread fragrance for themselves.  Living for others is the Rule of Nature!