Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Starving

I'm about to head to Michigan in a bit to help the parents with some more packing during the weekend, but I wanted to give a quick update because I had a really spectacular day yesterday. Oh, and thanks to the amazing kindness of my friend Tina, I am going to have company on the trip to Michigan because she has volunteered to help. I owe her big time.

So, yesterday I did something that I've been wanting to do for a number of years while living here in Chicago. See, as far as natural beauty and the land goes, I would argue that Illinois doesn't have a whole lot to offer. If it weren't for the lake and a number of parks and forest preserves, I would say that I don't live in the most naturally beautiful place. I love it here, but it is no Lake Tahoe, ya know? But there is this state park that I always have heard people talk about. It is nearly two hours south west of the city and it is called Starved Rock, which sounds fascinating in and of itself so I have always wanted to go but never had the opportunity.

Yesterday I took a day off with the intention of heading to Michigan (actually with the intention of going away somewhere else, but since Michigan has been calling it turned into a plan to go there) but then since Tina so kindly offered to head there with me, I needed to wait until this evening. That left a whole day open for fun in the sun, so Ryan and I decided to make the trek to the woods, not quite knowing what we would discover.

Turns out, Starved Rock is freaking awesome. It definitely felt like we had left the state and with the 70 something temps it could have been California, but who knew Illinois was so sweet afterall?

Here are some pics.

Ok, so call me ignorant (Do it! I know you already do!) but I had no idea about this massive river called the "Illinois River." Ha! I thought we had come along the Mississippi or something cause this thing was huge and the first stop on the trail was an overlook of it. Amazing.

Then we get into the woods and there are all these streams filled with an orange sediment which I assume is iron? but I have no idea... so if anyone has insight into that I would greatly appreciate it. It was so beautiful, though.

Ryan kept finding interesting bugs at every turn, where I was probably just stepping on them. This was a fuzzy littler caterpillar that was nice enough to pose for a picture.

We also found wild blackberries that were just ok taste wise.

Check out this huge canyon. I can't remember what it was called, but the echo was sweet.

Plus, I look teeny tiny in it and I can't often say that.

This was one of my favorite spots. We actually hung out in this water for a bit, believe it or not.

But then we came across LaSalle Canyon which ended up being my favorite spot because we actually spent some time playing the waterfall. Ryan went first as he is braver than I.

Then I manned up and got in.

It was cold, but really amazingly invigorating. If I live in this canyon, I imagine I would shower there every morning. Shoot, maybe I'll go back and shower there everyday anyway.

Once again, who knew this river was so big??

Finally, before we left our final stop was "Lover's Leap" which although I am indeed a lover, I resisted to urge to leap so I could continue to share my love with you all.

It is a beautiful place. I look forward to going back, but now I must make my way to the land of the wolverine.

Oh, ps. Mary says that the Olympics are like one big high school sporting event and she doesn't get why I feel the way I do. I'm rolling my eyes as I type. >:|

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