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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 13, 2014 - Starved Rock & French Canyon


Today's hike was a little different than most.  As part of our new employee orientation is a short hike to the top of Starved Rock and to the closest canyon to the Lodge (French).  I was the lucky one who got to hike today and get out of the office.  These new employees can be seen around the Lodge this summer in various departments.  If you see them around say Hi!!



Our newest group of employees





View of Starved Rock from the Veranda (first stop)
Once we arrived at the top of Starved Rock we took the boardwalk around the top.  First photo is of Lover's Leap and the Dam. 


View of Lover's Leap and the Dam

You can see Leopold island in the center of this photo with Plum island to the left.  There were also many pelicans on the water today.  White pelicans are migratory and only take a rest here.  The best time to see them is in the Spring and in the Fall.  There was a fishing boat that went through right as we got there and they all scattered.  If you look close there is a lone pelican.
Leopold Island
Look real close this is the view of the Lodge from the last overlook.  As the leaves come out on the trees, the Lodge is becoming harder to see.
View of the Lodge
Wildflowers are still having a great display.  Here are a few we saw today.


Wild Columbine
Swamp Buttercup




Mayapple








Mayapples started to bloom over the weekend, but this is the first chance I had to get out and get a photo.  They are everywhere.  Beautiful flower.  After the flower disappears a little apple will form.  That is how it got its name.








I can't say this enough. "Leaves of three leave it be, better yet.... if its green leave it be!!  The trails are plenty wide, you do not need to be in the green stuff.  Secondly, do not pick any flowers or plants, they are for everyone's enjoyment.  If we all picked one flower this year, there wouldn't be any to look at in the future. 
Poison Ivy

On to the main attraction.  At least I think so.  Right after a rain is the best time to see the waterfalls.  I wore my rubber boots just in case, and I wasn't disappointed. Enjoy the photos and video.


First part of French


Going into French, I knew it was going to be good.





















Going into French


French







The short employee hike was great.  We all thought it was going to rain, but we all arrived back dry.  If you see these new employees around the Lodge, welcome them and say Hi.

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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