Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3-26-2014 - Starved Rock / French Canyon 1 hour hike

At Starved Rock Lodge we have an overnight package that includes a 1 hour guided hike.  You guessed it, I am the guide (most of the time).  It was a bit chilly, but amazing.  Tuesday I led 2 young energetic couples and Wednesday I led a lovely, interesting family of 5.  We started from the Lodge and went down the 150 stairs on the way to Starved Rock.  What a view!
Lover's Leap

This photo was take at the top of Starved Rock looking east. Lover's Leap.  This is the first view you see once you get up all the stairs.

Lock and Dam

Walking around the boardwalk on top of Starved Rock you will come to the Lock and Dam.  We had a few pelicans floating around, but not very many today.

Leopold Island with Barge in background
Continuing around atop the Rock is Leopold Island.  This is where the majority of the eagles roost in January and February.
My lovely family from Wednesday, Lodge in the background
Last stop at the top.  My family was nice enough to pose for a photo.  This is a great spot to see the Lodge.  Notice the bright blue water tower in the background.

Poison Ivy

I always stop my groups here to tell the dangers of poison ivy. As the saying goes.... Leaves of three, leave it be.  I say it should be... "If its green leave it be, you don't need to be in the green while hiking here.  Just stay in the middle of the trail and you will be fine. No need to be off the trail, touching the green stuff."

Main trail to French

Monday night it snowed a little bit.  Just enough to make the trails white.

Bonus frozen waterfall in French
I know it seems weird to say this is a bonus waterfall, but it generally is not there.  On your way into French it is on your left across the canyon.  It also flows a little in the Spring.  Most of the time you don't even know it is there.

Going into French
The trail going into French was a little icy.  My hikers were very agile, so we gave it a try.  I haven't been in there probably since December.  There are some sandstone steps that is an ice slide.  There was enough of it melted and gone that we were able to get in.  We just took it slow.  Both groups said it was well worth the little bit of slipping.  I kept OOOoooing, AAAhhhing and Wowwwwing.  Once they each got in, they were saying the same thing....Wait for it.........


I have never seen French like this.  These big chunks are of ice.  The water is flowing and I thought I would give a video another try.  Hope it works.
My two couples from Tuesday
Notice the big crack in the ice in front of their feet!  Ice was about 2-3 feet deep.  It may take a few warm weather days for it to thaw.  

Coming out of French
As you can see it is just as nice a view coming out of French as it was going in.  What a great couple of days to be hiking. Even for just an hour.

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.

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