Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Starved Rock State Park-Day 1

3 crazy nuts I met in Utica joining me on my journey

Frank is going green...LOL

Illinois & Missouri Canal

I&M canal

On porch of shoppe
Carved out of wood

Great Ice Cream Shoppe

This sign is what made me get their ice cream
Read the line just above AWARDS!!!

On Visitor center grounds

Dinnertime at the visitor center

Falls at French Canyon-Starved Rock

River from Eagle Cliff

Aerial view of river from Eagle Cliff platform

Pathway in park

Something to look forward to-


Drive in to the park

Peek a boo tree trunk

Poem written after 2 unsuccessful attempts to find an eagle nest
   Pics from yesterday will be at the end of this post.
   I decided to check out the village of Utica and search for the eagle nest in Ottawa that Sharon & Jo told me about before I checked in at the park campground.  Unfortunately, the search was a bust.  I did walk along the Illinois & Missouri Canal, grab a hot dog for lunch, have the most amazing ice cream ever and talk with Bill, the owner of Mix's Trading Post!
Bright Spot- Bill was so much fun...we talked about his dreams of traveling, but for now the trading post is celebrating its 25 year anniversary!!!  This place is incredible...anything you could want is there!  He has Indian Arts & Crafts, souvenirs, quality bike leather, work boots, pottery...just to name a few!  Congrats, Bill, for serving this area all these years!  
   As I approached the campground entrance and noticed that my name wasn't on the reservations list, I quickly checked my records...sure enough, I forgot!!!  Off to the visitor's center I went.
There, Cheryl was kind enough to explain the procedure, then simplify it for me.  The site I chose was a "host" site and since there were several of them open, she said I could stay there, but could only use the electric!  DEAL!  Paved lot right across from the showers...yippee!  No mud!  While I was waiting to speak to Cheryl, I had the good fortune to meet Wayne.
Bright Spot- Wayne was MY bright spot as well as sharing one of his own.  I was kinda moaning about the damp weather and he promptly called me on my positive attitude claim and reminded me that it was just water!!!  I was indeed humbled...thank you, Wayne!  He absolutely loves volunteering at the visitor center and meeting people from all over the world and swapping stories. We got to talking and lo and behold, he is going on a spectacular adventure mid-June.  He is a nice looking man in very good shape recovering from carpal tunnel surgery just awaiting his medical release to embark on a bicycle ride from Oregon to Virginia!  You'd never guess this man was 71 years old!  He'll be carrying about 42 lbs of gear on the bike, grub for 2 days at a time, water, tenting when necessary and has no itinerary...he's just gonna go!!!  OMG!  I love it!  He's thinking it'll take a few months.  Wayne, I wish you the best possible journey!
   Wayne showed me a good hiking route to see waterfalls and an eagle nest.  I was ready!  Off I went and I found the waterfall at the first stop, French Canyon...beautiful.  I climbed for quite a while and got to see it from the top too!  I love the sound of the rushing water, so I closed my eyes and just listened.  Then, pretty pumped up, I went to the highest point in the park called Eagle Cliff Overlook in search of the nest!  I scanned every tree top on both sides of the nest!  I even heard an eagle with its high pitched choppy squeal, but no nest.   I WILL try again today!
view from BR at Brightwood B&B

part of the B&B grounds

mani & pedi up close and

mani & pedi peek a boo

B&B dining area

B&B room-Turkey Run
Pillow on armchair says
Gobble til you

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