Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 26, 2015 - Illinois, Kaskaskia, Ottawa Canyons and Council Overhang

Today we had 25 hikers and 1 dog.  I was very surprised there wasn't more.  It was a little chilly but the sun was shining.  We all carpooled to the Illinois Canyon parking lot and walked into Illinois Canyon.
Signs of Spring!

Getting a bit impatient with the wildflowers. I just love to see the new ones peeking through.  False Rue Anemone.
Stream crossing #1

Stream crossing #2

Stream Crossing #3

Illinois Canyon Waterfall

The white section of the wall recently fell.  See following photo.

Pile of sandstone that fell from above.

Suzanne and I didn't have any trouble crossing the streams or going through the mud.

This is sad, Peggy and I each picked up a bag of trash in Illinois Canyon.  Not pictured is the additional 2 bags we also picked up in Ottawa / Kaskaskia Canyon.

The D N R (Department of Natural Resources) put this mulch on the "Swamp Trail"  This is the usually muddy trail between Illinois and Kaskaskia Canyons.  Some thought it was a boy scout project.  Who ever it was..... Thank you!!!

Signs of Spring!!

See the hiking boot?

Council Overhang

Horse tails, these are located at the intersection of Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyon

Kaskaskia Canyon

Kaskaskia Canyon
Joe was trying to figure something out.  Maybe calculating how long it will take for the walls in Kaskaskia Canyon to erode away.

The early beginnings of Hepatica.  Maybe full bloom by next week.

I just never ends.  When you bring something along, it always amazes me the emptier the container gets, the heavier it gets.  I'm thinking that's why we see so many bottles on the trail.....

Ottawa Canyon

Looking out from Ottawa Canyon

Ottawa Canyon from behind the waterfall

A couple from Chicago celebrating a new job with a visit to Starved Rock.

Large moss covered rock in Ottawa Canyon

This Burl covered tree is near Council Overhang.
What a great day to hike. (I really don't have any bad days) The sun stayed out all the while we were hiking.  Next week we will be going to Matthiessen State Park.  Meet in the Lodge's Lobby at 9:00a.m.

I will leave you with this:  Keep a green tree in your heart and the singing bird stays nearby.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19-2015, St. Louis, Aurora, Sac and Kickapoo Canyons

Today's Walker's Club Hike had 33 walkers and 3 dogs.  Not much ice on the trails.  Yak-trax can be packed away for another year.  I traded my yak-trax for my rubber boots today.  Today is officially the last day of Winter.  Trails are in good shape, not to much mud or ice to walk on, even in the canyons.
Notice the turkey vultures in the trees looking north over the walk bridge from the Lodge?
Heading out for the hike
Top of Aurora Canyon from the bridge, looking south
Sac Canyon
Almost there

Entrance into St. Louis Canyon
St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon

March 14th marked the 55th anniversary of the Starved Rock Murders.  Joe is telling the group the condensed version.

Looking up at the west rim of St. Louis Canyon
The bottom of the ice fall still has some very thick ice
The stream flowing out of the canyon has thawed, with a carved out ice channel
Hepatica will be one of the first spring wildflowers.  These leaves are from last year.  Flowers first then green leaves all summer.
Heading back to the Lodge.  This trail has some real neat sandstone formations.  Many of them are used for resting spots.
Kevin and Glen
View from the trail looking North

Of course we had to go into Aurora Canyon.  Some opted to head straight back to the Lodge.
Some of the sketchy stairs into Aurora Canyon.  These are the ones I fell off of right after a heavy snow.
Aurora Canyon
We almost all fit in the canyon
Looking up out of Aurora Canyon

Number one canyon from my eyes !!!!
Bridge still not fixed.  Still safe.
My daughter says that my sign off signature needs to change, so I bought a few books and will be changing the sign off with each post.  I hope you enjoy! 

 I will leave you with this: Know that the brightest blossoms are not always on the tallest trees.