A Better Day

Starved Rock State Park , Illinois


So the secret to having a better day is to get up early and start early, and that’s just what I did. I was on the trail by 6:30 am and there wasn’t a soul in site. In fact I pretty much had the trail and the canyons and the waterfalls to myself.

Here is the trail that I followed, plus a little extra!

The first one was Aurora Canyon and Waterfall. I think that I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t fallen on my ass on the slippery rocks. Ouch! No bruising except to my pride.

Aurora Waterfall would have been even nicer if I hadn’t fallen first thing in the morning

In the early morning I couldn’t find the trail to St. Louis Canyon so I just drove to the other side and started hiking again. It worked out pretty well as so far I hadn’t seen but one woman on the trail.


This one was spectacular, and I walked around and and photographed it from all sides. First with my normal lens and then with my wide angle. To celebrate I sat on the sandy bank and ate my yogurt, banana and breakfast bar meal.

By then, it was after eleven, and the crowds started to show up, so I made my way to the lodge and celebrated again with an over priced $25 burger.

Another good day!

First Night Camping

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois


Well it too me a while to get back on the road, here but it looks like the wait was worth it. Starved Rick State Park has 18 canyons. Many of which have natural waterfalls. Just an FYI it has over 2 million visitors annually!

Here is the first one that I visited called French Canyon

The bummer is that it is really hot and humid. I was looking forward to snuggling up in the back of my Chevy to 50’s, but I got 90’s instead. I do have one of the more shady camping spots but apparently the trees in the part of the world don’t believe in “large leaves.”

The sun shines right through the trees thin canopy.

Still I am not complaining, just pointing out the facts. Tomorrow, I am hoping to get up very early and start hiking and photography some the other canyons

My new (old) 4 wheel drive ride.

And so the Journey Starts

Schaumburg, IL May 07, 2022

4:30am at the airport

On my way to Chicago to pick up a SUV from my sister. I have filled one bag with all of the gear that i will need to camp along the way as I slowly make my way back to Texas.

I have set my GPS to avoid tolls and highways so we shall see just how the trip unfolds. One of my favorite quotes was from John Steinbeck in “Travels with Charley” where he says, “You don’t take a trip, a trip takes you.”

So wish me luck!

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Big Bend National Park
Río Grande Campground
I am finally retiring my Giant John Tomac Team Edition mountain bike. It was given to me by my nephew Derek over 15 years ago and I have had many many happy memories riding it in some of the most remote parts of the US, but all good things must come to an end.

Giant John Tomac Team Edition Mountain Bike

Kim helped a lady put her life back together. She had a stroke over a year ago and Kim was indeed her angle of mercy. For the very small part that I played in helping, I was given her son’s , who passed away several years ago, his KHS XC-20 mountain bike. If I have half the fun I had on Giant I will be one happy camper.