Monday, November 14, 2016

Employee Mega Hike 11-11-2016

Periodically we do a Mega Hike for our employees.  This is really good for our employees, as it gets them acquainted with the canyons and trails.  We had to omit the trails East of Hennepin Canyon, Rt. 71 was closed East of Hennepin Canyon.  They are working on Dimmick Hill (near Council Overhang).  Had great weather and even some colors. 

Still some yellow colors

Coming down the hill from the parking area.  We had 9 hikers and 2 dogs

Hidden Canyon.  Hidden Canyon is hidden, so we think we found it.

All taking a short break near Owl Canyon

Bridge along the River Trail

This baby Oak tree has some great Fall colors. 

I see so many leaves on the trail.  I know that this is an Oak leaf, but what kind?  My guess some type of a white oak.

Going into LaSalle Canyon.  This canyon is so massive, it is hard to encompass the beauty in a photo.

LaSalle Canyon waterfall.  It was great showing this canyon to Teresa, who is one of the operators at the Front Desk.  She finally got to see one of the canyons that everyone talks about.  Thrilling!

Hidden steps in LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon waterfall

(top row) Teresa, Ashley, John, Kevin, Joe, John, Amy, (bottom row) Rosie, Amy and Cash

What a great group of employees

Sandstone formation coming out of LaSalle and going into Tonti

Tonti waterfall on the West wall

Bridge going over the creek from LaSalle and Tonti Canyons

Little Garter snake watching the trail near the bridge by LaSalle / Tonti Canyons

No Name canyon on the river trail

I call this the Paw Paw Forest (on the river trail)

Not going up

View of Eagles Cliff and the Lock and Dam from the river trail

Wildcat Canyon's looking good

Wildcat Waterfall

Some lichen on the lower walls near the waterfall in Wildcat Canyon

Paw Paw leaves are huge

View of the Dam and Eagles Cliff from the River Trail

Red Oak leaves on the trail. Red Oak have pointed ends and White Oak have rounded lobes.

Still a great colorful view from Eagles Cliff.  "Best view in the park"

Illinois River traffic going West (this barge is waiting to lock through)

Lock and Dam from Eagles Cliff

View of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap

Closer view of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap

A few Pelicans still lingering behind.

Take with you what you bring in.
Now it is time for lunch. We enjoyed a Chicken Caesar wrap, bag of chips, apple, homemade granola bar and a bottle of water.  Once lunch was over (30minutes) we headed out again for the 2nd half.

1st stop after lunch is French Canyon

Another view of French Canyon.  Most people don't realize that this canyon has a sloping or cascading waterfall.

Walking out of French Canyon

View of Lover's Leap from the East side of Starved Rock

The park is replacing the informational boards around the park. 

Plaque and bench at the base of Starved Rock

Plaque near the bench

It wouldn't be a complete Mega - Hike without a visit to Aurora Canyon

Looking down into Aurora Canyon from the West Bluff trail

There is hardly a trickle in St. Louis Canyon

Joe shared his story of the Starved Rock Murders that took place on March 14, 1960.  Yes, he is still in jail for the crime.

Coming back on the West Bluff trail.  Sac Canyon

Last set of steps before the finish.  Total ascension for the hike 1442 feet

Finally finished.  This Gingko tree rewarded me with some wonderful color.
I will leave you with this: In life you will meet two types of people.  The ones who build you up and the ones who tear you down.  But in the end, you'll thank them both.

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