Starved Rock

14 10 2011

Starved Rock is such a beautiful place! Bugs, Animals, Plants… and Waterfalls!!

We camped over night. We ended up with a wonderful camp site toward the back of the loop. We set up our two tents, one for Andy and I, one for Christian and Lauren. We arrived later in the day so after setting up camp we went out to buy firewood, which we found conveniently at a local farm, being sold out of a garage. The farmer was also selling some other basics, like bug spray, citronella candles, and to Christian and Lauren’s delight, s’mores. I can’t eat s’mores. Darn you chocolate being in everything!! After gathering supplies we returned to our site to make dinner. I made Andy and I bush pasties in the fire and Lauren made hamburgers shaped like hot dogs for her and Christian. We only had hot dog buns being the reason behind the funny shaped burgers. After dinner we stayed up a bit talking, and laying in the road near the porta potties (which didn’t smell!) watching the amazingly clear sky. Andy and I spent a lot more time just watching the sky than the girls. I don’t think they had the patients or appreciation for just laying still in the quiet. Perhaps, why neither of them had seen shooting stars before! I saw probably around 15 or 20 shooting stars that night… as well as several sailing satellites! It’s amazing how many stars you can see when you’re that far out of the city. You could even see the Milky Way! So beautiful.

Come morning, we woke up to rolling thunder and pouring rain. It echoed and echoed through the canyons and it sounded amazing! We found out our tent leaked. Which kind of sucked, but we just put ponchos on and went for a walk. I think Andy and I walked for over an hour. We saw wild turkeys and a lot of the campground, including the summer camp/group camping areas. After several hours of hoping the rain would let up, and it still coming down full force, we decided to cook breakfast in the rain. We started up a fire, I had the foresight to put the wood in the car when it started to thunder and sprinkle at 9am. After five hours of non-stop down pour with continuous thunder, we decided we were going to have to pack up the tents in the rain. Check out was at 3pm and it was 1:30pm. Just as we were finishing up pack up it stopped raining… go figure. So after a stop by the bathrooms for a change into dry clothes and shoes, we decided to stop and go for a hike. At least that way our whole trip wouldn’t be a waste.

Boy was it worth it! See the photos above, because words can never explain the beauty of the waterfall filled canyons in the lush Midwest forests that are Starved Rock. Who knew Illinois had more than farms and prairies.

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