Sunday, June 19, 2016

Council Overhang, Ottawa, Kaskaskia and Illinois Canyons

Great day for Waterfalls

Today's hike we all drove to Council Overhang parking lot and walked in to Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons.  Then many of us drove to the next canyon to the East and walked into Illinois Canyon.  Over Memorial Day weekend there was an influx of graffiti in Council Overhang.  A week or so later River Forest-based Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio Inc, used a laser to remove most of the graffiti.  We rearranged our hiking schedule to view the sandstone free of graffiti.

Almost to Council Overhang, just around the corner from the "boot"

We had around 45 hikers today.  We were just taking a short break, letting them all catch up.

Going up to Council Overhang

Look no more grafitti, (for now)

I have always loved this shot.  Looking out from Council Overhang

My cousin Debbie came to hike with us today.  She came all the way from New York.  It was great hiking with her.  I ran into her and her husband last year and I told her the next time she was back home she needed to join the walker's club for a hike.  Thanks Debbie!

Regina's family joined us today.  Photo in Kaskaskia canyon. The kids loved all the mud, they had a great time.

Rock formation coming out of Kaskaskia Canyon

Ottawa Canyon

Ottawa Canyon

Ottawa Canyon

Junction of Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons

Lots of mud on the trails today, especially going into to Kaskaskia and Illinois Canyons

Mulberry tree in Illinois Canyon parking lot

Chicory lines the highways.  Found this in the parking lot in Illinois Canyon

Blue Damselfly

Check out the base of this Jack in the Pulpit.  There is a green seedpod.  Later in the summer this will turn bright red.

The first stream in Illinois Canyon was too much for most of us.  No crossing. 

We have some new flashing signs at both main entrances to the park.  Hopefully this will help with some of the climbing, swimming, littering, going on the trail late at night and going off the trails.

I will leave you with this: Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember amateurs built the ark and professionals built the Titanic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

St. Louis and Aurora Canyon 06-09-2016

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall
Rain was predicted.  We were really hoping the weatherman was wrong today.  Not the case.  About half way through we felt some sprinkles...... then there was the rain.  No lightening or thunder, so I guess it could have been worse.  We left the lobby with 27 walkers heading to St. Louis Canyon via the West Bluff Trail.  The plan was to drop down into Aurora on the way back, however most of the walker's had had enough.  Ron, Kay and myself had the honors.

Aurora Canyon from the top

Sac Canyon

On our way to St. Louis Canyon. 


Goat's beard

On the west wall in St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall

East Wall in St. Louis Canyon

Aurora Canyon.  The rain wasn't strong enough to generate much of a waterfall

Plantain.  Good for insect and snake bites

Kay and Ron were good sports going with me into Aurora Canyon
I will leave you with this: Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you need to keep moving! (regardless is its raining).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Buffalo Rock State Park 06-02-2016

View of the Illinois River from Buffalo Rock State Park

Today the Walker's Club had 35 participants.  Some of our regular walker's brought their extended families while the kids were out of school.  They all enjoyed checking out the buffalo.

In case you were wondering, this sign refers to the Buffalo not the Walker's Club

Both buffalo (bison) were in their hut when we arrived.  This one peeked out to see what was going on?  Well really he came out for a drink of water.

Most walkers came down to the 1st overlook to check out the spectacular view.

These signs are posted throughout the hiking trails at Buffalo Rock State Park (relatively new).
This view is looking down river on the second overlook.

Surprised to see this Prairie Trillium

We put Ron (orange shirt) up front, so we don't have to walk into the spider webs.

I think this is a yellow crown vetch

Typical pink crown vetch

View of the Illinois River looking up river from our 3rd overlook

No go anymore.  This is not a public hiking trail.

There are 5 earthen sculptures at Buffalo Rock.  They were finished and opened in 1985.  This is a sign by the Cattfish.

Walker's Club was a colorful group today.
Captured this yellow jacket pollinating the flowers

And this is how it was made.

Happy Jim Jonen and his extended family came out to join us today.

Proud Tom Corrigan and his family joined us today. 

I will leave you with this: If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.  If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.