Thursday, October 27, 2016

St. Louis, Sac, Kickapoo and Aurora Canyons

Today the Walker's Club numbered 37 people.  We met in the lobby and headed off on the West Bluff trail.  There was no sun but the temperature was comfortable.

Just West of the Lodge is this carving of the Official Symbols of Illinois.  They are listed on the back (see next photo).

Back of Illinois Officials carving

Coming up on Aurora Canyon.  We will go in this canyon on the way back.

Going down to see the top of Aurora Canyon

Looking down into Aurora Canyon

Top of Sac Canyon.

Just because you are on a boardwalk doesn't mean that it is going to be easy.  Wet leaves, wet boards equal slippery walkway. 

Still more steps to go.

Poison Ivy's color is turning fallish

St. Louis Canyon.  Right around the corner is the waterfall.

St. Louis Canyon waterfall is always good for a photo.

Sassafras leaves (same tree)

Lone frog in a log in St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall

Joe was telling stories in the canyon

Some hikers posing for a photo.

The once white Indian Pipe, turns black and then sheds its seeds.

Most hikers today, dropped down into Aurora Canyon.

In Aurora Canyon looking up to the trail.

Not many people fit into this tiny canyon.  Also not many people visit here.

Nice waterfall in Aurora Canyon.  Also took a video.  See below.

Cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie in the cafe upon return. Yum!

  I will leave you with this: Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Matthiessen State Park 10-20-2016

Today's hike, left the Lodge's Lobby and went to Matthiessen State Park.  We hike the Lower Dells area first and then proceeded to the Upper Dells area.  There were 37 hikers and 3 dogs.  Fall Colors were great.  Still some green, but hey, green is a color also......

37 hikers and 3 dogs

Today we didn't go all the way down before taking the trail to the Lower Dells

Most of the hikers coming down the stairs from the fort area.

Soon it will be time for the Cross Country Skiing. (note the signs on the trees and markers)

A very large Sassafras leaf

Making the turn by "Strawberry Rock"

If I tinted this rock just right, it might look like a Strawberry???

The Bridge over the South end of the Dells area.

Devil's Paintbox

All had to cross the creek.  The smart ones used trekking poles for balance.  I just got my feet wet.

Cascade Falls. The leader of this group was helping the kids under the falls.  I mentioned that they weren't suppose to be there.  They didn't seem to care.  Wading, Climbing and Swimming is prohibited at both Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks.

Looking back out of the Dells area the way we came in. Nice fall colors.

When your in the Dells area, if you come down.... you have to come up and out.

While on the bridge (prior photo)  looking south.  This water flows into the Vermillion River.  Notice the wood, that looks like a fence? That was part of a bridge, up the creek a ways that washed out a few years ago.

At the same bridge looking North, towards the Cascade Falls

Cedar Point area on the Upper trail

Matthiessen Lake

Matthiessen Lake Falls

Matthiessen Lake Falls

There was a painting class going on while there.  This was Dave. Wish I could have stayed to see the finished work.

Standing above Giant's Bathtub

Looking back at Giant's Bathtub waterfall.  I think this is my favorite waterfall here.

Couldn't decide which photo I liked the best, so I kept both.

This is Kurt to the left, he also was in the painting class.  Nice job!

Yes we had to maneuver through the roots.  Then there was a stream with rocks.

A few of our hikers took the easier, shorter route back from the Lake.

The fort at Matthiessen State Park (ending point, about 11:30a.m.)

This cabin will soon be used to rent snow skis for cross country skiing.

"Edna's Tree" on the way back to the Lodge today.  In case you were wondering, this tree is at the back entrance to the park, right off of route 71.  It has a bit of green still left to turn.  Should be peaked out this weekend.
I will leave you with this: If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else.  It will spread into your work and into your life.  There are no limits.  There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.