Yeah, okay, like that will happen...but who knows, maybe I can make it! :P
I feel like all of the posts I still want to write happened soooooo long ago...it's crazy to think it's already been almost 2 months since most of this stuff!!!
But anyways...time to post about one of those things! I'm excited to revisit this camping trip since we had perfect weather the whole time (unlike now...Chicagoland is stupid cold and covered in snow with more coming...).
So here goes!
When I went to Europe, Anthony and I were talking one day and decided that we really wanted to try to fit in a camping trip during the fall. I recommended Starved Rock because I'd never been there, and we booked a camp site right away, picking the only weekend with sites still available (October 21-23). We also both took the Friday off work so we could pack up all of our camping gear and make the ride south without any pressure, and without being all strung out from the craziness of a work day. (Good decision all around.)
That Friday morning we woke up and combed through my family's camping stuff to pick out what we'd need, then loaded up my car. We made a few stops just before leaving (including lunch with Anthony's mom!) then started the 2-ish hour drive south to Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois.
After something flew off my car about 30 minutes from the park, we decided to stop at a Walmart to check it out, and buy all the food we'd need for the weekend. It turns out the thing that flew off my car was a wheel well guard thing (I don't know cars so I really don't know...). Nbd for the short term.
We piled all the food and firewood we'd gotten into the cooler and stacked the car even more full, and made it to the campsite around 4...just enough time to get things set up and to start making dinner before the sun went down. We were both actually very tired from all the packing and traveling and site setup, so we decided not to try and fit in a hike before dinner and bed (that had been the original plan).
We really made up for it the next day though!
But we had dinner (pudgy pies...basically the best campfire fancy grilled cheese kind of sandwiches), and then started on some s'mores...and we took advantage of the lack of technology to do a lot of talking... ;)
And now a note to any of my cousins reading this...I had this brilliant idea to make a s'more in the pudgy pie iron. I was so prepared to post on Facebook that I was the pudgy pie champion:
We hit the hay early, and in the morning I looked crazy:
|I told you so.|
We cleaned up around the site (not hiding any alcohol at all since you're not supposed to have it there) and got moving. The weather was a bit chilly, but seemed totally perfect for a day of hiking!
We saw a ton of people in the mile or so closest to the Lodge, but by the time we got further out there were fewer and fewer people, and almost no one on the trails around Hennepin and further out along the river.
Of course, I took plenty of pictures to share, so enjoy!!
|This tree had cool roots!|
|French Canyon...look at the tiny people at the bottom!|
|We took pictures like this specifically because our parents told us not to :P|
|The first waterfall we saw!|
|Someone dropped something.|
|I loved this dog's little pack!|
|One of my favorite pictures from the day!|
|This was where we stopped to have lunch. We were alone the whole time we ate, which made it a great little break.|
|I totally didn't know that's the face Anthony was making when I took this -_-|
This was when we left the beaten path for greater adventures...!
|It does not look very steep here, but we climbed up this little cliff to get back on the main trail. I almost fell and died (slight exaggeration)...but Anthony pulled me up.|
|We found a nice little over hang for a photo op!|
|We climbed up these wild looking stairs on our way back to the start of the trail.|
But we made it back to the Lodge, then on the way back to our campsite we stopped for some firewood and extra food and water. The place we stopped was definitely the cutest podunk place ever. It was on some random 80 year old's farm, and it was called "Jack's Camp Store". He had a little store set up in his garage with all of the essentials (cereal, bread, milk, cheese) and tons of firewood. Pick your own...something like 24 logs for $15. So we bought our items from Jack (bread and water and beans and wood) and mosied on back to our campsite.
It took us forever to get a fire going, and once we did it was super smokey (I not-so-secretly believe the wood was a bit wet). We managed to cook some brats and beans, and then I attempted to make a Peach Cobbler...it did not work. We won't even talk about it. Some bits were salvageable though, so they did get eaten!
|Saying goodbye to our campsite!|
And to wrap things up...an adorable picture of Stewart when we chilled on the couch that night: