Thursday, November 7, 2019

Mostly forty Starved Rock Walkers (0 dogs) parked in the Hennepin Canyon parking lot and walked the East Bluff Trail out to the Owl Canyon staircase and back again. All were much warmer at the end than they were at the beginning.

 It was a cold blustery trek from the parking lot to the East Bluff Trail.
 Walkers arriving at the old coal mine site behind the Hennepin Overlook.
 The trail is mostly single file as it traverses the 
rim of Hennepin Canyon.
 From here on the bluff blocked most of the 
"in your face" wind
 A trail view into the east branch of 
Hennepin Canyon.
 Not all trail bridges can pass a rigorous inspection!
 The front of the line has reached the west rim of Hennepin Canyon.
 A trail bridge view of the Rt. 71 bridge over upper Hennepin Canyon.

 Another trail bridge view down onto the floor of Hennepin Canyon.
 An upslope view of the East Bluff Trail.
 Like all forest trails, the East Bluff Trail 
just pulls you into the woods.

 A trail view down through the mouth of Hidden Canyon 
into the Illinois River.
 Another trail view from the rim of the 
St. Peter Sandstone bluff out to the river.
 Most of the forest canopy is now carpeting 
the forest floor.
 A trail view of the staircase leading to the 
LaSalle Canyon parking lot.
 Beginning the return walk across the 
headwall of Owl Canyon.
Can you please take our picture on the Hennepin Bridge?

This day felt like Indian Summer so:

"With beauty before me, may I walk. 
With beauty behind me, may I walk. 
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
Wandering on the trail of beauty, 
May I walk."
Navajo: Walking Meditation   

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thirteen intelligent looking SR Walkers (0 dogs) braved the All Hallows Eve blizzard conditions to see Council Overhang, Kaskaskia, & Ottawa Canyons. It was not the usual walk in the Park.

 We began during a lull in the precipitation.

 The overnight accumulation was enough to turn "the boot" next to the overhang into a snow boot.

 The "Autumn" view out the Council Overhang window.

 The snow began again as we entered the mouth of Kaskaskia Canyon.

 The invigorated Kaskaskia waterfall did its best to fill the creek bed.

 Note that while our sanity can be questioned, we are all appropriately dressed for the conditions. There is no bad weather, just bad clothing!

 Leaving Kaskaskia Canyon headed for Ottawa Canyon.

 A snowglobe view of the Ottawa Canyon headwall.

 A view down Ottawa Creek.

 The Ottawa waterfall was forcefully arcing out into its plunge pool!

 The two strand lines on the plunge pool indicate that the water was quite recently deeper.

 The obligatory down canyon pic from behind the waterfall.

 Note the splash patterns of two falls at the bottom of the snowglobe.

Walking towards the mouth of Ottawa Canyon.

 Yes, I am wearing my Yak Trax Extremes OVER my rubber creek-crossing boots!

 Walking through the frosted Fall foliage was totally worth it!

From the parking lot, seven Walkers decided to continue on into Illinois Canyon. I wasn't one of them.

 Why do we walk on such a day? Maybe we agree with W.J. Holland who said,

"Happy is the individual who has acquired the love of walking for its own sake!"


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Forty plus Starved Rock Walkers (+2 dogs) took the East Bluff Trail out to the Sandstone Point stairs and came back along the River Trail. Last weekend was Fall Colors Weekend at SRSP, but the colors are peaking this weekend. A fine Fall day for a walk in the Park!

 There are 40+ "Art in the Park" chainsaw carvings on the Lodge grounds.This has always been my favorite.

 An autumn view up French Creek from the trail bridge.

 SR Walkers passing through upper Wildcat Canyon.

 An autumn view of the west rim overlook above Wildcat Canyon.

 A rare glimpse of the east wall of Basswood Canyon.

 The Park removed the Basswood Canyon trail sign. There was just no good way to keep the "B" in Basswood on this sign!

 Trail carpeting in being laid down and the "green tunnel" over the trail

 is turning gold.

 A refreshing pause atop Sandstone Point.

 A downriver view of the bluff from Sandstone Point.

 There's gold in Lone Tree Canyon!

 The icebox in "witches kitchen" is an older model from Bedrock, Iowa.

 A River Trail view of the stuff that makes up Sandstone Point.

 There is no McDonald's in the Park, but you may see a "golden arch" along the River Trail.

 Almost every SR Walker overlooks the Beehive.

"Been there, done that!"

 The River Trail bridge across Pontiac Creek.

 The spider-like blossoms of witch hazel.

 A River Trail sighting of the Eagle Cliff platform.

 A view of Autumn arriving onto the South Bluff from the Eagle Cliff platform.

 This white oak leaf is obviously wearing its Halloween costume!

 So many acorns, so little time!

Autumn is falling onto the "Hungry Butte". Don't miss it!

As Lou Reed says,

"Take a walk on the wild side!"