Saturday, December 20, 2014

12-20-2014 Trolley to Council Overhang parking and walk back to the Lodge

Council Overhang
Today's hike we met in the Lodge's lobby at 9:00a.m. as usually and walked out to the trolley on the parking lot and rode a trolley to the East end of the Park.  Kevin drove the trolley and dropped 28 hikers (himself and I included) plus 3 dogs and walked back to the Lodge from there.  We did take a walk to Council Overhang and Ottawa Canyon.

All of the hikers getting a lift.  Even the 3 dogs
Sign by the parking lot
Use your imagination, yes it is a hiking boot.  Just around the corner is Council Overhang
Council Overhang.  Everyone is listening to Joe talk about how this formation came to be here
Joe enlightening us all
Our newest 4 legged friend "Ellie"
Going into Ottawa Canyon
A fresh sand fall at the base of Ottawa Canyon
Giant rock in Ottawa Canyon it is on the East side

Crossing Rt. 71 on our way back
Once we crossed the road we went up this flight of steps
This is Joe near Hennepin Canyon Overlook
Hennepin Canyon Bridge
a look into Hennepin Canyon.  It's hard to see here, but that white stuff on the branch in the middle really sticks out when your there.  Looks like just that branch got some snow.
The best photo I could get of Hennepin Canyon frozen ice falls
Hidden Canyon, well we think it's Hidden Canyon.  Who knows, maybe it is still hidden.  We stop here and tell everyone about it anyway.
Going down the steps by Owl Canyon. We think 155
New bridge along the river
Bridge going over the creek coming out of LaSalle and Tonti Canyons
Neat Sandstone formation along the river trail
Love those roots!
View of Eagle's Cliff at a resting spot.  If it was warmer we would have stayed longer.
View of Wildcat Canyon from the top (East Overlook)
Upper Wildcat Canyon
And we're back.  Great Hall entrance to the Lodge
The Starved Rock Lodge's Photography Show and Contest is coming up on February 22, 2014.  Here is the link to download an entry form.  If this doesn't work, and you are still interested, please call my office at 815-220-7386 and I can direct you to it or e-mail you a form.  

Today was a great hike (not that there is really a bad hike).  No wind, moderate temperature, no precipitation, its all good.  

I will leave you with this:  Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12-11-14 Wildcat / Christmas Party

Today's hike was a short one to Wildcat Canyon, Eagles Cliff, Lover's Leap, French Canyon and then back to the Lodge for a Cookie Swap and Lunch in the Lodge's Main Dining Room.  There were 32 hikers plus 3 dogs.  For the Cookie Swap and Lunch we had 35.    
Nice group of hikers, led by Ron and Joe
Just imagine the stories this tree could tell!!
Walking on top of Pontiac Canyon
View of the Eastern overlook from the West Side overlook at Wildcat Canyon
How many people do you suppose this deck can hold??? (The deck on the West side of Wildcat Canyon)
This is Mandy.  It was really hard getting her to sit still for a photo. She loves to hike with her master Rosanne.
Upper Wildcat
All of us in Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon
Cocoa - She also has a hard time sitting still for a photo.  She just wants to hike.
Ann has 3 dogs.  She rotates them hiking with us.  I get their names mixed up as they are similar. Kevin pictured here is home schooled and just loves the dogs!
Red stakes mean the River Trail.  With the Return sticker, we are now returning to the Lodge / Visitor Center
Walking back on the River Trail
On the River Trail with Eagles Cliff in the back
Illinois Waterway Visitor Center - Lock and Dam
View from Eagles Cliff - "Best View in the Park"
A lone boater
One "Eagle" on the Eagles Cliff
Not one Eagle on Leopold Island
Starved Rock from Lover's Leap
Devil's Nose in the distance.

Going Dooooowwwwnnnn
Going into French.  This is where the BONUS waterfall will be.  Nothing yet.
Quite the line to get into French Canyon
French Canyon- No ice- No water- just a trickle
One of our hikers- Kevin, at the top of French Canyon spying on us.
Joe, trying not to get his feet wet!
The way into/out of French Canyon
Coming out of French.  With all the leaves you would think it was Fall
One of the two eagles on either side of the Fox Canyon bridge.  Donated by the Family of Jerry Krasinski
Today we all enjoyed lunch together and a cookie swap.  35 were here for lunch
Cookies all boxed up and ready to go home.  We even had some left over for dessert and sampling!  What a great tradition.
The Starved Rock Lodge's Walker's Club meets every Thursday at 9:00a.m. in the Lodge's hotel lobby.  We first announce where we are going to hike.  We take off from there.  If we need to drive to the location (Matthiessen or Buffalo Rock State Park, etc...) we will carpool.  If the hiker decides they would like to hike every week we give them a punch card.  Every time they hike with us they get a punch.  When they receive 12 punches they get a free lunch in the Lodge's dining room.  Many times our guests that are staying at the Lodge will come hiking with the group.  This is the Lodge's way of saying thank you for treating our guests to a great hike, and enlightening them about the area we call home.  

I get to see and visit with all these wonderful people that I am proud to call my friends. I really look forward to hiking on Thursdays.  I am truly blessed!

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.