Friday, July 20, 2018

July 12th St. Louis Canyon, picnic July 19th and trail signs

Quite a few walkers today on a hot day.  We left the Lodge's Lobby and headed out to the West Bluff trail. Coming back from St. Louis Canyon, many of the group went down into Aurora, but I had a hike scheduled with a school group at 11:00a.m.

Take a break when the weather heats up

Coming across the bridge

Looking down into Aurora Canyon from the bluff trail

Top of Sac Canyon

Some of the stairs are eroding.  Some of the steps here are very deep.  Some up to 18 inches.

Nice sitting spots along the West Bluff trail on the way to St. Louis Canyon

Part of the creek in St. Louis Canyon

A hole in the sandstone in St. Louis Canyon

Pick a plank!  If you choose wisely you can get into the canyon to see the waterfall without getting your feet wet.

St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall

Looking out of the canyon.  All taking a break before heading back

White trillium  after the white flower is gone.

Final stairway of the day back to the Lodge

The paths are getting thinner with all the summer growth.

One of the many pieces of chainsaw art on the Lodge's property.  This one is on the west side of Lodge.

The "Stargazer"  another piece of art on the West side of the Lodge.  It is begging us to all lay down and take a nap. 

Some day lilies near the Lodge

I walk by this patch of lilies everyday. Today I took a photo. 

I will leave you with this:Let your smile change the world, but don't let the world change your smile.

 This past week, I didn't go on the hike but we always have a group Walker's Club picnic in July whereas everyone brings a dish to pass.  What a turnout we had.  The hike was at Matthiessen State Park with about 40 hikers.  38 hikers stayed for the picnic.  The food was awesome.  Thank you everyone!
Front of the food line

I received a call this morning that all 11 signs for the Interpretive Trail are now completed.  I took a ride over to the Anderson Signs and Designs workshop near Streator to see them.  Amy Trimble (Lodge's CEO) and Lisa Sons (Starved Rock State Park's Site Interpreter). 
This is what 1/2 of them looked like laying on the floor.  There are 11 all together.

All together on the floor.

 There will be a grand opening sometime in August/September.  First I need to meet with the park superintendent to coordinate putting them on the trail.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Starved Rock, French Canyon, Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff 07-05-2018

Some of the photos are a little blurry.  For some reason I am having trouble getting the photos from my phone to my computer.  I am now taking the photos with my camera.  It takes a little longer to focus and I tend to be impatient.  Today's hike was a little low in participation.  Not sure if the weather played a part in the attendance or if it was the holiday.  There were about 25 hot hikers.  No breeze anywhere.  Sun was out and so was the humidity.  We left the lobby and headed to Starved Rock for a bit of history.  Next,was a rewarding walk into French Canyon.  We finished the day walking to Lover's Leap and Eagle's Cliff.

Life is Good

Leaving the Lobby.  Heading out!

Our first stairway of the day. 150 steps down only (for now)

Waiting for everyone to catch up at the base of Starved Rock

View of Lover's Leap from the top of Starved Rock

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center from the top of Starved Rock.

East end of Plum Island from the top of Starved Rock

Flags at the top of Starved Rock.  Happy 4th of July!

Starved Rock Lodge from the top of Starved Rock

I love trees.  This Oak tree is at the top of Starved Rock

Next up is French Canyon

Nice walk into French

Terry met a guest going into French

Wait in line and be patient.  This is one of the busiest canyons in the park.  It is the closest canyon to the visitor center and the Lodge (not counting Fox Canyon).

French Canyon waterfall, looking good.

What a great looking group!  Shirts are from the Mega Hike in April. 

One way in, one way out.  Now we have to waddle out.

Look who we found on our way to Eagle's Cliff.....

Found this piece of trash at Eagle's Cliff

View of the Lock and Dam from Eagle's Cliff

A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, monument, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. ... Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. Some even say this is vandalism. I consider it litter.

Lover's Leap

View of upper French Canyon Creek

This fascinating stinkhorn is often identified as "Mutinus elegans," but close inspection reveals that Phallus rubicundus has a clearly distinguished, separate head that holds the spore-saturated brown slime; species of Mutinus bear their slime on the upper part of a stem structure that lacks a clearly distinguished head.

Way too much trash for a short hike.  Really too much trash for any length of hike.

We have a couple of these signs at the Lodge.

Both trolleys are ready to go on tours today.

Purple Coneflowers in front of the Lodge.

Russian Sage in front of the Lodge

The best thing was a tall glass of water upon my return. Life is Good!
I will leave you with this: For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence, look up at the sky and contemplate how amazing life is!