Monday, July 20, 2015

July 16th, 18th, Illinois, LaSalle and Wildcat Canyons

Thursday July 16th was with the Walker's Club.  It hasn't rained for a while, so I thought we would be alright to hike at the East end of the park into Kaskaskia, Ottawa and Illinois Canyons.  We carpooled and parked in Ottawa / Kaskaskia Canyon Parking area.  I was badly mistaken.  It was a mud pit with heavy mosquitoes.  One of our walkers fell going into Kaskaskia so I walked her back to her car.  
Theme photo of the hike

Beginning of the mud.  The planks laying there should have been my first clue of what was to come.

Pick a log, any log, all are slippery

Looks like the spring time shooting star.  But it is too far into the summer.  Any thoughts?

Illinois Canyon

Little frog in Illinois Canyon

Illinois Canyon - Yes that is a mosquito net on Kevin's head.  They were very plentiful

Chicory, along the road from Illinois Canyon back to Ottawa Canyon parking lot
 On my way home for the day, I stopped along the prairie entrance and took a few photos.
Purple Prairie Clover

Wild Bergamot
 On Saturday July 18th, I was the one scheduled for a guided hike.  Yes, it was hot.  Don't know the temperature but it was HOT with high HUMIDITY.  When I arrived back at the Lodge around 2:30p.m. all my clothes were drenched.  The group was from Northern Illinois University.  It was a group of students from all over the world.  In my group they were from Brazil, Taiwan, Pakistan, Ecuador, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  Very interesting to talk with.
My group on Eagle's Cliff

View of the Dam from Eagle's Cliff

Bufferfly along the trail to Wildcat Canyon

Jessica (from Brazil).  I went to Brazil about 20 years ago with the Rotary Group Study Exchange.  Jessica and I talked quite a bit about what she misses most about Brazil and what I liked while I was visiting there.  She is studying Engineering.  Good Luck Jessica, thanks for a great hike!

The other guide for the group was Kevin.  We split the group in half.  Kevin kept his group cool with his misting fan.  We met in LaSalle Canyon at lunch time.

Many people were already in LaSalle Canyon when we arrived. 

Wildcat Canyon from the Eastern Upper overlook

Upper waterfall in Wildcat Canyon
 We also have had Bud Hainzinger here carving our latest chainsaw carving.  It is called Illinois Officials.  Come take a look.  It is near our pool patio on the West side of the Lodge.

Illinois Officials

I like it when all of the carvers sign them and put the date.  Thanks Bud! Nice Job!
It's been hot and buggy.  If you plan on hiking this summer, bring lots of water and bug spray and you will be fine.

I will leave you with this: Remember... Dreams are the seedlings of Realities.  And it is often from the fertile soil of failure that they grow.


  1. That purple flower is a member of the tomato family, and the plant itself is known as bittersweet or climbing nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). It's a weedy vine that is mildly toxic and has black, inedible, tomato-like fruit. Introduced from Europe, it's often found growing through bushes in partial shade and moist soil.