Wildcat Canyon, Starved Rock, North Utica, Illinois
More detailed view of the spring waterfall. You can see that there is still snow in the parts of the canyon that don't get much sun.
I took a hiking trip last week with my 11 year old grandson. I am still in awe of how much hiking I was able to do. I hiked a good two and one half hours and got him to come along with the promise of seeing a waterfall. I did not disappoint him. Above are two views of the same waterfall taken on the hike.
I was able to go up and down stairs and up and down not-too-steep hills. I was able to go for about 2 hours. We didn’t run through the woods, we stopped and looked at things.
After our hike we had a huge breakfast and since I had gone out with nothing but a banana and some almonds in my stomach, I was pretty hungry. The exercise made the breakfast taste excellent. The sun was shining although it was still cool . . . perfect hiking weather. We went out for another hour and a half, and that was an easier trail. The last few times I’d been to the park (probably 15 years ago) I was too out of shape to do the trail we did in the morning and was content to do only the trail we did in the afternoon.
After our hike we rested in the room a bit, and then went to the swimming pool. There were no other kids, so my grandson and I “raced” – he raced, I swam laps – until other kids came along and he played with them. He stayed in the pool about 3 hours. I was able to make a dent in the 500+ page book I’m reading.
We had dinner and sat in the great room in the lodge in front of a fire. This place was built as a project of the Civilian Conservation Corp. It is rustic, built from real timber and the furniture is huge. My grandson loved sitting there by the fire.
We were both pretty tired by 9 and retreated to our room for an early night.
I do love jetting off to the far flung corners of the world and I also love these times with my grandson. He is at such a wonderful age where he is forming his own opinions but he is still open to other ideas.
Putting aside all the other benefits from my new life style, this trip, by itself, was worth it. To be able to look at a spring day in the woods through my grandson’s eyes was priceless. I am so grateful to be on the path I’m on today.