Friday, August 14, 2015

LaSalle, Wildcat, Lover's Leap, Eagle's Cliff August 13, 2015

Theme photo of the hike
I have been looking forward to this hike all week.  It turned out to be a GREAT weather day.  Cool morning breeze.  We had 37 hikers.  We went into 2 separate groups.  Joe led one group and I led the other group.  Amazingly all finishing at the same time.

All 37 of us heading out. We will split up at the trailhead

Joe took 1/2 on the Campanuala trail, and I took 1/2 on the bluff trail. Same hike, just different directions.  Who will finish first?

Type of sunflower

On our way to our first stop, Lover's Leap

What a gorgeous day!  Lover's Leap

View of the Lock and Dam from Eagles Cliff

Coming down the steps to the River Trail

Ron and grandson Jack in Wildcat Canyon
Ron's always teaching......  what a great student Jack is

Swamp Rose Mallow.  I have never seen this before.  Looks like a Hibiscus.  Looked it up and it is in the same family as the Hibiscus and it is a wildflower in Illinois.  Couldn't get a real good photo as it was near the river, quite a way off the trail. 
First butterfly on the hike today

Turtle on the log.  Near the V

Meeting Joe's group 1/2 way coming out of LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon still has a waterfall.  Look.... no people.  This hasn't happened to me since the winter, until my group arrived today.
This couple stayed at the Lodge overnight joined us for our hike today.  Hope they had a great time. 

Time to head back.  Bridge over the water coming out from LaSalle and Tonty Canyons

 With its broad green leaves and dainty white flowers, Doll’s Eyes (Actaea pachypoda) certainly doesn’t look dangerous. But, the striking white berries – once sewn into rag dolls as eyes, hence the name – are highly poisonous. They contain cardiogenic toxins that have an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue and can be fatal if eaten in large quantities. Even in small quantities, they can cause severe mouth pain.


Cute little flower near Sandstone Point

Couple that was staying at the Lodge from near Chicago

Lucky enough to see this Satyr Comma butterfly and even luckier to get a great photo to identify it.

I'm pretty sure this is the Satyr Comma Butterfly

When coming back to the Lodge, Joe and I finished the hike with our groups at the exact same time. Couldn't have been a more perfect hike.  Weather was fabulous, company was enjoyable, waterfalls were running, air was breezy and fresh and trails weren't crowded.  Great day to be hiking.

I will leave you with this: The great outdoors take you into the present, the only place where life exists.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Yoga Hiking Retreat August 5th - 6th 2015

This week I wasn't able to go with the Walker's Club as I was the hiking guide for the Yoga and Hiking Retreat.  This was held at the Starved Rock Lodge on Wed. August 5th and Thursday August 6th.  They had 4 yoga sessions, 2 hikes, 3 meals and one bonfire.  

Our hike on Wednesday went to St. Louis Canyon.  Thursday's hike was with lunch into LaSalle Canyon with a stop on the Wildcat Overlook.  We were expecting to do a bit of yoga while in LaSalle Canyon, but it was a bit crowded.
Theme photo of the hike

On our way to Wildcat Canyon
Top of Wildcat Canyon
A little butterfly enjoying the Wildcat Canyon also

We had 8 on the hike.  This is Wildcat Canyon Eastern overlook

None of them appears to be afraid of heights

Going down the 155

Our Yoga leader Amy Perona

This is how much yoga I did in the canyon

Most of us ate our lunch on our mats, some even took a short nap
We all were relaxing

While "napping I took this photo of the sky between the canyon walls.  This was very peaceful.

Instructor Amy Perona

I have no idea where these dots came from, but I like the photo.

All participants in front of the waterfall in LaSalle Canyon

This type of  Sunflower is plentiful in the park

Some type of an Aster found along the river trail
 Amy Perona instructs yoga from the Tana Yoga Studio in Peru Illinois.  Check out her website at  This is the first time we organized a Yoga and Hiking Retreat here at Starved Rock Lodge.  All had a great time.  Some of them stayed overnight and some just came for a day. 

I will leave you with this: The quieter you become, the more you can hear.