Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 1 of 2 mini vacation

Day 1 

Took a little 4 day vacation and went out into nature. Our original plans were shot due to the torrential rains we received earlier in the month. We were planning on hiking all of Starved Rock, but when all but two of the dozen plus trails are closed, we had to scramble. We decided on a pair of state parks and nature preserve that were close by and unexplored by us.

Friday had us at Shades State Park and the Pine Hills Nature Preserve. These were both full of hiking trails and really cool rock formations. The type of stuff I enjoy and draw a lot of fantasy inspiration. We crushed around 6 miles of rocks, trails and stairs (why are there always stairs?).

Shades State Park pics………………

This little guy didn't make it. All we found was a bit of broken skull.

Nice drop! "Lover's Leap" I think was called.

What very rugged means to some.....

 ......lots of gods damned stairs!

The down side was a lot of stairs to get to the certain trails.

What very rugged means to us!
This is one trail that was really awesome and nobody was on it all day!

Pine Hills Nature Preserve pics……………
Lots of great cliffs to climb and look off and up at here.

This doesn't look like much but this is a path that is roughly 6' wide and has sheer 80'-90' drops on either side. They call it "The Devil's Backbone."

The photos don't do this rock formation justice. It was really cool up here.

 Passed all my DEX checks while up here.

The end of the "Devil's Backbone " and a better look at the width of the path  and the drops.

A look from below at the path we just crossed.

Good weather, great scenery, good trails all made for a great first day of vacation.