Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kaskaskia, Ottawa and Illinois Canyons, Council Overhang 03-30-2017

We left the lobby of the Lodge and carpooled to Ottawa /Kaskaskia Canyon parking area and we hiked in from there. The trails were muddy, but the waterfalls were unbelievable.When we started hiking it was just a drizzle.  When we finished it was pouring down rain.  But seeing the waterfalls like this was amazing. Today we had 13 walkers.

Waterfalls everywhere!

There is an area right off of the parking lot that we call the Wedding Cove.  We bring many bridal parties here for photos.  It gives them the illusion that they are in a canyon.  Not very often is there a waterfall here. 

The trail today was a little on the muddy side (ok, so it was alot muddy)

Prairie Trillium will be blooming soon.

Walking up to Council Overhang

Looking out from Council Overhang

Handy plank across the stream coming out of Council Overhang

False Rue Anemone.  There was lots of this today.

After Council Overhang we went into Kaskaskia Canyon. This is a bonus waterfall on the way into the canyon

Swollen Kaskaskia Creek

Kaskaskia Canyon waterfall (main one is on the left and the bonus is on the right)

Hillside of Trout Lilies

Nice bouquet of Hepatica

Ottawa Canyon and a bonus waterfall

Sideview showing the power of Ottawa Canyon

Most hikers wore knee high boots. (Cocoa was exempt)

The boot is looking good

I was surprised to see this Dutchman's Breeches looking so good.

More Dutchman's Breeches.
 Once we left Ottawa / Kaskaskia Canyon parking area, we drove the very short distance to Illinois Canyon parking lot. Once here we walked in.  Some went all the way in, some stopped at the first stream. 
Virginia Bluebells in Illinois Canyon seem to be a little ahead of schedule

Virginia Bluebells

Bonus Waterfall in Illinois Canyon

The trail turned into a small stream

Once we crossed this steam, there was another bonus waterfall

Closer photo of the bonus waterfall

Recognize this tree?  Yet another bonus waterfall in Illinois Canyon. Love this waterfall!  From this point, if you look to your left the real Illinois Canyon waterfall is there.

It is still a little on the small side (height wise)  but today it has width.  Notice the bonus stream to the right.
I will leave you with this: By perseverance, the snail reached the ark!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

03-16-2017 St. Louis and Aurora Canyon

Ice in St. Louis Canyon

Today's Walker's Club left the Lodge's lobby and headed for St. Louis Canyon.  Some came directly back to the Lodge, and some chose to walk through the picnic area and going into Aurora Canyon before ending the hike at the Lodge.  43 hikers today. Trails were still snowy and icy.

Joe was quizzing the group on the Illinois symbols.  Nancy had a flat Stanley that made his way through the park today.

The boardwalk going out on the West Bluff trail was icier than I had anticipated.

The last half of the group coming down the stairs by "the orange rock"

The frozen stream formations on the way into St. Louis Canyon

Not a full ice fall, But more than I thought there would be.

We didn't stay long on this break, it was a bit chilly today.

Frozen seepage coming from the base of St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon icicles

Group leaving St. Louis Canyon

Cool ice formations on the creek coming out of St. Louis Canyon

A slippery narrow board is the way to get over the partially frozen stream.

I was in the group that went over the entrance road and through the picnic area.

The old road (now trail), soon to be the new road to the new bridge. They are clearing the trees out now.

Coming through the picnic area, love the Canadian Geese on the bathroom roof

Found this Skunk Cabbage flower (it is in the center and is maroonish in color)

A Couple of Skunk Cabbage flowers with the beginnings of a leaf

Donna Coleman in Aurora Canyon

Climbing out of Aurora Canyon

One last photo of Aurora Canyon

This is the only place in the park that I have fell off the trail.  (not today, but I came close)

Lots of snow and ice still on the trails.
I will leave you with this: A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.