Thursday, January 9, 2020

Near forty Starved Rock Walkers hiked out to LaSalle Canyon and back today. Near five miles of the best walking in the Park in a persistent drizzle that occasionally became just plain rain.
 I parked in the newly expanded Parkmans Plain lot and walked downstream to the Canyon.
 Even though the number of parking spaces has doubled, this notice on the map stand reminds us that the number of canyons to visit on this walk has been cut in half.
 The East Bluff Trail around the headwall of Owl Canyon.
 The top of the Owl Canyon staircase.
 The 141 steps descend the bluff to the River Trail.
 The bottom of the Owl Canyon Staircase.
 A River Trail view of the South Bluff. This view is hidden behind a green leaf wall all summer.
 Walking downstream towards one of the River Trail bridges.
 A channel marker buoy that 180 days of fast moving 2019 flood waters ripped off its anchor cable. Red buoys mark the midriver side of the channel. The ropes seen here do not belong to the buoy.
 Green buoys mark the near shore side of the commercial channel.
 The River Trail bridge over LaSalle Creek should be part of the "Art in the Park " collection.
 Yes, art in the Park!
 The structurally unsound bridge over Tonti Creek has been closed to hikers since April, 2013. Just a part of what has closed Tonti Canyon to all visitors.

 LaSalle Canyon east wall trail without walkers.
 Same trail with SR Walkers!
 An east wall trail bridge and trail retaining wall.
 Yes! The trail is still retained!
The LaSalle Canyon headwall.
SR Walkers at the headwall!
Far from the tallest but easily my favorite Park waterfall!
 The lower canyon falls and plunge pool aren't bad either!

 Leaving the canyon during a break in the drizzle.
 On the River Trail back towards the Lodge.
 No, the camera can't see the rain, but it didn't last much longer.
Back to the parking lot and headed for a libation.

The rainy walk recalled a quote from 
Leonard L. Levinson,

"A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds and mopes;
a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs;
an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - 
he's walking on them."

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