Thursday, January 25, 2018

French, Pontiac, Wildcat, Eagles Cliff, Lover's Leap, Starved Rock 01-25-2018

Today will left the Lobby and went out to the prospective NEW Interpretive Trail.  A photographer from the LaSalle News Tribune was out to take a few "action photos" for the article.  We walked on the NEW trail, about 1/2 way and then we continued on our scheduled hike. 

The Interpretive Trail is a fairly flat trail that connects the Overflow parking lot to the main park area. The Starved Rock Walker's Club is adopting this trail because of House Bill 3455 that was signed in August of 2017, allowing groups or individuals to adopt trails that are part of state land. We are developing a series of signs (11) that will eventually be placed throughout the trail.  Park guests will be able to walk this section without stairs and learn history and legends about the park at their own pace.  The Walkers Club is taking donations for the signs and possible other improvements. If interested call my office at 815-220-7386.

Looking down into French Canyon

Looking through the trees to Devil's Nose

Boardwalks had some frost, but there was no ice or snow.

Once we got to this point (top of Jacob's Ladder), we turned and went towards Pontiac Canyon and then on to Wildcat Canyon.

Top of Pontiac Canyon.

Top of Wildcat Canyon

Everyone arriving at the top of Wildcat Canyon

View of Wildcat Canyon from the East overlook

Going down the stairs into Wildcat Canyon

We made quite the impression when hiking down the stairs.  39 hikers today.

A sheet of ice is on the floor of the canyon.  Yak trax were a must.

Little icicles were forming under the East overlook

Wildcat Icefall

View looking to the East from Eagles Cliff (there are eagles on the ice in the middle of the river)

Trust me, they are eagles.  The one on the left is an adult and the one on the right is an immature eagle.  Eagles don't get their white heads until they are 3-4 years old.

Eagles Cliff looking North.  Photo is of the Lock and Dam

Starved Rock from Lover's Leap

The signs throughout the park have been replaced with fresh colorful signs.  This sign is at the top of Lover's Leap telling the reason why the park is called Starved Rock State Park.

Coming down from Jacob's Ladder and over French Canyon creek, on our way to the top of Starved Rock.

Flags at the top of the Rock

Our last stairway today.  This is behind the Lodge. 150 steps.
I will leave you with this: The time is always right to do what is right!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hennepin, Hidden, Wildcat Canyon 01-18-2018

  39 walker's today.  We hiked with the sun today!  What a joy!  We met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to the Hennepin Canyon parking lot.

Wildcat Canyon

Everyone catching up from the week before.  Some people put on their extra traction in anticipation of ice on the trail.

View from Hennepin Canyon Overlook

Some chose not to go to the Overlook

Looking into Hennepin Canyon

Looking out on the Illinois River from the base of Owl Canyon

View looking North from the LaSalle / Tonti bridge

Just waiting for the rear of the group to catch up

Just had to get this photo of the frozen river and the beautiful blue sky

Wildcat Canyon.  It finally is complete! Lots of water still coming down.  Almost climbable

Baby frozen fall under the East overlook

Just beautiful!

I went behind the waterfall to get this photo

Wildcat from a different angle

The steps coming out of Wildcat are packed with ice.

Most of the trail today looked like this.
I will leave you with this:The Secret to living a life of happiness is to dream it, believe it, embrace it, love it, feel it, be it today & everyday in every little way imaginable.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wildcat Canyon 01-11-2018

Not even sure I can call this a hike.  There were 24 walkers today that left the Lodge's Lobby.  The plan was to start out on the Campanula Trail to Wildcat Canyon and then continue on the Bluff Trail to LaSalle and Tonty Canyons.  I had a meeting at 10:00a.m. so I was only able to go as far as Wildcat Canyon.  It was warm enough this morning to go with a light jacket.  Some wore yak trax for the ice on the trails.
Wildcat Canyon.  The highlight of my walk today!

There was still some ice under the leaves in places

On the way out to Wildcat, this is one of the feeder streams to French Canyon. 

 This video is of upper Wildcat Canyon.  I have never seen so much ice at this location.

View of Wildcat Canyon from the East Overlook

Looking down into the canyon there is still plenty of snow and ice.

West viewing platform of Wildcat Canyon

The rest of the group went on to LaSalle Canyon via the Bluff Trail.

I will leave you with this:  "Before you act, listen.  before you react, think. Before you spend, earn.  Before you criticize, wait.  Before you pray, forgive.  Before you quit, try."