Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ottawa, Kaskaskia and Illinois Canyons November 20-2014

Today our Walker's Club had 21 hikers and 1 dog (Cocoa).  It was a little chilly, but no breeze.  About 25 degrees.  I brought out the "musher hat" and of course the flannel lined jeans.  Great day for a hike. 

I don't do well with selfies, but this is my "musher hat". I have 2 of these hats and they are both equally warm.  My kids laugh at me when I wear it, but it is warm. 

Use your imagination.... Can you see the hiking boot?

Going up to Council Overhang

Looking up in Council Overhang

Again, use your imagination.... Can you see the bison?

A little bit of ice fall in Ottawa Canyon

Frozen ice at the bottom of Ottawa Canyon

Looking back coming out of Ottawa Canyon

Jack is contemplating going behind the logs into the cave like area.  (He didn't go, but I did)  See next photo.

I went behind the waterfall area in Kaskaskia Canyon.

Horse tails or snake grass.  They stay green all year.

Found this photographer in Council Overhang on the way back.  Starved Rock Photo Show and Contest will be                  Feb. 22-2015

Honey Locust fruit

Illinois Canyon... Yes there is a waterfall.... next slide will show you the video

What a great group!

On the way out of Illinois Canyon there is this rock formation.  Kind of looks like a toilet, don't you think?
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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Buffalo Rock State Park 11-13-14

For Walker's Club today we had 18 hikers and 1 dog.  Temperature was about 22 degrees or so and windy.  We met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to Buffalo Rock.  

Buffalo Rock true to its name has 2 Buffalo or Bison (see below)
 Bison (also called buffalo) are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison within the subfamily Bovinae.

A little bit of history about the Effigy Tumuli.  The Effigy Tumuli, one of the more unique attractions in Illinois, can be found at Buffalo Rock State Park.  This earthen art exhibit recreates sculptured earthen effigies dating back more than 3000 years.  Effigies were created by native peoples as temple platforms or burial mounds.  

A result of a creative coal mining reclamation project on land donated by Ottawa Silica Company, the site contains a 2,070-foot long snake, a 140 foot long frog and a 770 foot long catfish.  Also located along the mile and a half long bluff are a water strider and turtle.  This project was completed in 1985.

Diagram of the Catfish
Being a little chilly outside it calls for some reinforcements- Flannel lined jeans.

Some of our 18 hikers today all bundled up

Most of the trail here is prairie like

Most of the trails here are flat.  Some are even handicapped accessible.

Taking a break at one of the viewing points overlooking the Illinois River

Peggy waits for us to get caught up

Joe says "My favorite Illinois slot canyon! The sides don't match so it could be a vertical fault with deformation at the head. The old mine may have diverted storm water through this."  Photo is of Kevin in the background.

At the only viewing deck at the end of the walk we found these 2 pelicans.  We think they are contemplating when to head back south.  If they don't get a move on, we may see them frozen to a rock soon.

A beautiful Oak tree in the picnic area
Today's hike was a little chilly, but if your dressed for the weather it's better than being inside.

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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 6, 2014 Hennepin, Hidden, and Owl Canyon

The Walker's Club today met in the Lobby of the Lodge and carpooled to the Hennepin Canyon parking lot off of route 71.  Once arriving at the parking lot we followed the trail across the road to the connecting trail, and we were off.  The day was windy along the river and a bit chilly.  Once you got walking you hardly noticed the chill in the air.

Many leaves, sometimes knee high

Approaching Hennepin Canyon Overlook

Hennepin Canyon Overlook (looking to the West).  An old guide book calls this Cave of the Winds                                      (yes it was windy here, go figure).

Looking at the Halfway House from Hennepin Canyon Overlook

Ron was telling us the history of the Halfway House

Looking across Hennepin Canyon - See the trail on the other side?

Hidden Canyon

What goes down..... yes we came back up them shortly after....141 stairs.

Owl Canyon Overlook from the River trail

Yes those are white caps on the River!

My little friend Kevin in Owl Canyon

Owl Canyon

Name that flower..... Hepatica.  In the Spring there will be white to lavender flowers and then the new green leaves will appear.

Need a little repair

The beauty on the trail back to the cars.

This time of year is an interesting time of year to hike.  You never know what you will see.  Spring is Wildflowers and Waterfalls, Winter is Frozen Waterfalls and ice climbers, Fall is the beauty of the color changes and then there is November...... 
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.