Thursday, August 6, 2020

August 5, 2020 Our Morning Hike at Kankakee River State Park

August 4, 2020 10:32pm
Gregg: "Christy are you off tomorrow?"
Christy: "yes, you idiot. I told you that earlier."
Gregg: "we should take the dogs somewhere tomorrow. It is supposed to be cooler."

August 5, 2020 about 8:27am
Christy: "We should take the dogs to Kankakee River State Park. The Rock Creek trail looks interesting."

About 45 minutes later, we are heading south on I-57 and I ask Christy to take picture of the dogs.
I posted the first picture because it made me laugh. This one is what I see in my rearview mirror...four big brown eyes staring at me.

We stopped at the visitor's center to pick up a map.
Christy posed with one of her favorite bears.
There are several sections to this park. We are going across the street to the Rock Creek area,

We plan on doing both loops...the Rock Creek Trail and Chief Shaw Trail
This local resident was kind enough to pose for me.
I made these two wait while Chrissy ran a bag of Nola's poop to a garbage can in the parking lot.

I need to learn these plant names.

This bridge has a fun tilt to it. Twinkle toes here was a bit unsteady as he walked across it.

Our first view of Rock Creek.
Christy & Nola soaking up the sun on a cool morning.

The main trail is very wide. They allow snowmobiles when there are four inches of snow.
I just liked the shadows in this photo.

The main trail is up on a cliff along the creek. There are no easy trails down to the creek. We finally found one we could trust the dogs to not pull us down the heavy incline. The views were worth the trouble to get down here.

Yeti getting a drink.
It felt great relaxing on the river edge.
Yeti exploring something new. I call this a Yeti on the rocks.
The ladies joined us on the creek.

Some wide angle fun.
Yeti loves being face to face with people.

Eventually, we climbed back up and continued our hike. This is what passes for a waterfall in flatlander states. It's more like a short rapid, but I do love that sound. 

A group shot on the cliff above the "waterfall".
There are really good signs on this trail. You would think it is impossible to get lost here. 
As we hiked on the connector path to the Chief Shaw loop, we passed these tall lodgepole pines. It reminds me of hiking out west.

We saw a few people on our hike. But most of the time it was just us.

I loved this carved out tree trunk on the side of the trail.

We had easy access to Rock Creek on the Chief Shaw trail'
Nola and Christy found the creek too.

I loved this section of the hike. It reminded me of the Everglades. Also known as a river of grass. 
My iPhone takes really good photos but the zoom usually sucks. Not this time. I love this picture.
More areas with sections of land that look like rivers of grass.
The water flows around these low areas so you can walk about into the middle of the creek. 
I can't remember a summer with so many great sky days. This year will never be remembered fondly. But I'll always remember the incredibly scenic skies. The right side of this photo is above the water. The darker left side is grass growing in water. Just like hiking in the Everglades.

This has been one of the longest hikes we've done with the dogs since last winter. They seem to be having a great time.

Hello, my name is Gregg and I have a photography problem. 
Yeti found the dividing line between land and creek. He fell into the water and I caught him jumping out.
Heading back to the main trail.
Yeti looks sad to be leaving here or he heard something and is trying to find it.
This park is surrounded by corn and soybean farm fields. But we do have some beautiful places to visit in our area...
...and I always seem to find evidence of our industrial past on hikes in our area.
This bridge was more level than the last one.
I love the outdoors and I love history. It's a beautiful day when both loves are combined.

I'm not sure if this is culturally correct nowadays, but I wanted a photo of it because it is part of this historic marker. 
Remember earlier when I said it was impossible to get lost in here. Well, I thought a side trail might take us to a cave along Rock Creek. So we took that trail. It didn't lead us to the cave. Actually, I had no idea where it took us but we kept walking hoping to find another sign. We never did find a sign.
But I was thrilled to find this fireplace and chimney standing in the forest. Christy was not as thrilled as I was. Luckily, this was next to the horse stables so now I had a reference point. 
We finally made it back to the tilted bridge.
Christy wouldn't stop for a picture so I kept walking and shot backward from my hip. 
We tied these two to a picnic bench so we could brush all the burrs off them. Then we headed back home driving the backroads through the farm fields.
We stopped at Buddy's Ice Cream in Beecher. That's where I took this picture of Charlie Brown. Christy says it looks like I took a selfie because we both have big heads and a camera.

I was so happy when a lady eating ice cream with her grandson offered to take a picture of me with one of my childhood heroes. Christy tried to pretend she wasn't with me. Good Grief.

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