Thursday, March 28, 2019

Council Overhang, Ottawa, Kaskaskia, Illinois Canyons March 28, 2019

Kaskaskia Canyon

Today's hike is a group favorite.  We left the Lodge's Lobby, and sort of car pooled to Ottawa, Kaskaskia Canyons and Council Overhang parking lot.  After those canyons some took to the "Swamp Trail", some drove and some walked the road to Illinois Canyon parking lot to hike into Illinois Canyon.

"Wedding Cove"  the Lodge's trolley takes bridal parties here for photos as the sandstone wall is steps from the parking lot. 

The "Boot"  This is a natural formation of sandstone that looks like a boot if you use your imagination.  Can you see it using your imagination? 

The group of 50+ coming up into Council Overhang

Joe telling the group of the neighboring Native American's having a Council in Council Overhang. 

Everyone admiring Council Overhang

Snake grass /Horse tails at the intersection of Kaskaskia and Ottawa Canyons

We chose to go into Kaskaskia Canyon first.  It was pretty muddy after last nights rain.

I told the group in the morning that there was no more ice in the canyons.  I was wrong, this little bit of ice was on the floor in Kaskaskia Canyon

You just can't capture the beauty of Kaskaskia Canyon.  Notice the extra waterfall here. 

We then went to Ottawa Canyon

Behind Ottawa Canyon there was ice on the ground also.  Not slippery, more like frozen sand. 

Photo from behind the Ottawa Waterfall looking out to the canyon

Another photo of Ottawa Canyon

Time to leave back through the mud.

From the base of this sign it looks like there was a group of people that just didn't need the walking sticks anymore. 

You have to cross the stream 3 times to get to the main waterfall in Illinois canyon.  Crossing #1

Crossing #2

Crossing #3

There has been some sandstone falling on the West wall

Illinois Canyon Waterfall

I love my boots especially on this hike.  I highly recommend them in the Springtime.  I don't have to think where to step when it comes to mud and streams. 

A Pileated Woodpecker has been here. 

I will leave you with this: Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

St. Louis, Kickapoo, Sac and Aurora Canyons March 14, 2019

Aurora Canyon

About 40 hikers and 1 dog (Mandy) came out to hike today. The weather started out sunny and about 50 degrees. Finished up cloudy. Trails are muddy and going into St. Louis very icy.  Glad I brought my Katoohlas.

The Walker's that come on Thursdays love the park and each other's company

Up stream of Aurora Canyon

Looking down into Aurora Canyon

The front half of the group going over Sac Canyon

Up stream of Sac canyon

Looking down to Sac Canyon

A fresh down tree just past Sac Canyon, but not yet to Kickapoo Canyon

Best view in a long time of Kickapoo Canyon

We saw quite a few Turkey Vultures on the West Bluff Trail

The boardwalk was wet and slippery

Coming down the stairs by the "Orange Rock".  On our way to St. Louis Canyon.  I hope they all know when in Starved Rock, when you go down, you will have to go back up.

Sandstone formation on the trail.  Is this what they would call the "Watchtower"?

Once we walked down all the steps (didn't count and never have) we were moments from St. Louis Canyon

I tried to capture the low fog going into St. Louis Canyon.  The fast running stream is a good sign of a great flowing waterfall to come. 

This is where the trail got a little icy.  Just over the bridge and across the stream.  At this point we all knew the waterfall was running nicely by the roaring sound. 

This is where I put on my Katoohlas.  No need to fall with them in my pack.  Some people did fall getting down to the crossing.  Some decided to take a break and go no further. 

St. Louis Canyon was flowing nicely with a little bit of ice left.

Mary, one of our hikers also captured the canyon in photos.  

This is as far as I was willing to go. Love the chunks of ice that have fallen.

This formation was on the left side of the waterfall.  So shiny!

Looking back at the Walker's Club.  Some just can't keep their eyes off of the ice/water. 

One last look / photo before we left.  The next time I visit here the ice will more than likely be gone. 

Here you can see how deep the water was when the stream froze earlier in the season.

Roseann and Carol have been in St. Louis Canyon many of times along with Mandy (the dog).  Mandy needed a break from walking on the muddy trail. This little break gave Roseann and Carol time to catch up on things. 

Some of the trails are extremely muddy. 

It is no secret that I never pass up a chance to go to Aurora Canyon.  I had to get back to the Lodge and take care of some things.  My friend Ron took this photo of Aurora Canyon.  Wish I could have gone.  
I will leave you with this: Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful, and believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to help you.