Monday, April 21, 2014

4-20-2014 Rt. 71 Nature Preserve

Happy Easter!  After a wonderful meal, Kayla and I went out for a hike.  We chose the Nature Preserve off of Rt. 71.  We entered in the area across from Deer Park Country Club.  Kayla was anxious to try out her new backpack.  And I tried out my new hat. (both recently purchased at REI).

1/2 mile or so walk in

A few years ago, a guest gave me an old trail book of the area.  I have been in this area many times. I always like to go here in the spring or winter before all the weeds and bugs arrive.  After a hilly walk we come to our first destination. 

 Allouez Canyon was named to honor the Jesuit missionary, Father Jean Claude Allouez (1622-1689).  missionary to the Illinois Indians following the death of Marquette.

Allouez Canyon
Kayla on the path going into the canyon

Kayla admiring the waterfall in Allouez Canyon

It was also a great day for wildflowers.  Kayla really wasn't.  But I still like finding them and looking at them.  I was really grateful that she went with me.  I really didn't feel comfortable going alone.

Yellow bellwort

Early Fern

Skunk Cabbage

We were going into our 2nd canyon when we saw these footprint in the sand.  Don't really know what they are, but thought they were neat.  If I had to guess I would say raccoon and turkey.


 Our Second Canyon was Potowatomie Canyon. (formerly Williamson Canyon).  Renamed to honor the last of the great Indian tribes that lived in the Starved Rock area prior to the influx of the American settlers. 
Potawatomie Canyon

We planned on visiting a few more canyons but it was getting a little hot, and...... I found a tick and then another one.  And then I found one on my hat.  That was enough for me.  And back we went.
On our way back to the car.  Now we had to go uphill.  Good thing the log was here.  We really needed a break.

Kayla taking a break on the way back

Me and my new hat.
Someone told me once that if you wore a hat it would keep the ticks off your head.  Well that is not the case.  Upon arriving home, Kayla and I both took our clothes off in the garage and put them right in the washing machine.  We check each other pretty good.  Later that evening I found 2 more in my hair.  I hope I got them all.

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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