Wednesday, June 13, 2012

take a hike

My sister-in-law, Emily, invited me to join her on an afternoon hike today at Starved Rock State Park. The park is one of a few state parks located near the Illinois River, about 20 or so miles south of our house. Growing up, my family would spend many Saturdays & Sundays picnicking and hiking the trails of these parks. 

Starved Rock got its name due to a bit of Indian history that happened on top of a lofty stone pillar. As the story goes, a rival Indian tribe forced the Illinois tribe on top of the rock and wouldn't let them back down. Sadly the tribe starved on top of that rock waiting for the rival tribe to cease the battle and let them down.  In addition to the rock where that happened, the park offers many beautiful, deep canyons that are a gorgeous sight in the winter when the waterfalls freeze solid. 

The park also boasts a beautiful lodge that was built during the Great Depression, as part of Roosevelt's "New Deal" program. Sometime I will have to snap some photos of the inside of the lodge for the blog because, you guys.... its is just so majestic and lovely. There's a huge stone fireplace in the center of the great room and the entire thing was built with these huge logs. Its really truly humbling when you think of the men that worked so hard to make a dime putting the lodge together and building the park's trails and platforms. Here is the link for the official park site. Click here for more on the history of the park.

We had to cut our hike short due to the sun setting low, but I promised Em that we would be back and that, next time, we might hop on over to Matthiessen State Parka couple miles up the road, to check out more canyons and waterfalls. Below are some of the photos I was able to take between wheezing breaths from trying to climb stairs and talk at the same time.
 Man, do I ever need to get out and hike more.

1 comment:

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