Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 26th Mega Hike

Best Photo of the hike


I was one of the leaders for the Annual Spring Mega Hike.  My fellow guide was my friend and walker's club member Ron Bengston.  We were the 3rd group to leave on Saturday.  We had 14 people in our group.

We met at the Lodge and boarded a trolley.  The trolley dropped us at the Illinois Canyon parking lot and we walked back from there, going into every accessible canyon and overlook.  Enjoy the photos!
And we're off.... Illinois Canyon #1
Bluebells are spectacular!!
Bonus waterfall on the East wall in Illinois Canyon
Illinois Canyon Waterfall
1 family of 6, friends of 4, 2 couples= 14 hikers
Lots of Prairie Trillium
Prairie Trillium - I love this flower!!
From Illinois we took the "Swamp Trail" to the next canyon
The "Boot"

Everyone in Council Overhang
Inside Council Overhang - Ron is telling part of his history narration about Henri de Tonti
Little white bird's egg in Council Overhang
Nodding Trillium are really putting on a show
Squirrel Corn
Kaskaskia Canyon
Ottawa Canyon
Shelf fungus as we were coming out of Ottawa
Violets sprinkled in the horse tails
Many of the Trout Lillies were already bloomed.  I found this 1 blooming coming out of Ottawa
Heading up and over Rt. 71
Spring Beauties were plentiful, at times it looked like snow.
Hidden Canyon
Cool looking tree formation
Blue Phlox- These actually smell like lilacs, If you can bend over far enough to smell them.  Very refreshing.
Blue Phlox
Another field of Bluebells
Going down to Owl Canyon
Taking a break, waiting for couple that went to the porta potty by the nearby parking lot.  Closed Owl Canyon Overlook in the background.
One of my couples by the LaSalle Canyon bridge
Yellow bell flower
Wild ginger
Going into LaSalle Canyon
LaSalle Canyon
Looking back at LaSalle waterfall from the West trail out of LaSalle Canyon
Jack in the Pulpit
My family from Michigan in front of Tonti Canyon
2nd Tonti Waterfall on the East Wall
Tonti Canyon Waterfall with Tonti's hook (Ron)
First bloom for Wild Geranium
Along the river trail

Along the river trail
Before we arrive at Wildcat Canyon there was a 19 year old girl that went off the trail and fell 25 feet.  She got carried out on a backboard.  She left on a rescue boat across the river and then helicopter to Rockford.  My group arrived to see the rescue boat pick up the remaining rescuers.
Wildcat Canyon.  For once it is a pleasure being in Wildcat Canyon without anyone climbing all over the place.
This was an interesting plant, don't know the name
May Apple, just about to bloom.
Best view in the park.  From Eagles Cliff.  Love those clouds!!
View of the Lock and Dam from Eagles Cliff
Too many people to go down to Lover's Leap.  We decided to do the Lover's Leap Legend at the top of Starved Rock looking at Lover's Leap
Break time / Lunch time at the Lodge.  About 9 miles hike about 4 1/2 miles left after lunch.
Eagles on the bridge over Fox Canyon
Cascading French Canyon
Coming out of French Canyon
Top of Starved Rock
Bishop's Cap / Miterwort line the path into Aurora Canyon
Top of Aurora
Top of Sac Canyon
Taking a break before we get to St. Louis Canyon
St Louis Canyon
St. Louis Canyon from the East side
Waterfall Splash St. Louis Canyon
Sand pile in St. Louis Canyon
This guy carried his walking stick the whole way, I couldn't believe it.  Check out the tip, it is a beer tapper.

I try to get everyone to give it one last push to run across the bridge at the end.

Every year we have a different shirt designed. At the finish we give out "YOU ROCK" Certificates and a Snickers Bar (Snickers didn't last long for me)

I will leave you with this: Each life becomes a part of the landscape.  It becomes someone's landmark!