Starved Rock State Park

It was a great day for a weekend excursion to Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois. The Chicago forecast was for mostly cloudy skies and temperatures near 70; but Utica, about 60 miles west experienced cloudless skies and temperatures into the mid 70's.

Starved Rock got it's name from an event that took place between the Illiniwek Indians and Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes in the 1700's. Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe, was killed by the Illiniwek. Battles began to avenge his death and a group of Illiniwek Indians climbed up the sandstone cliff now known as Starved Rock to seek refuge. The Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes surrounded them and fought until the Illiniwek group starved to death.

The views from the top of Starved Rock, Lover's Leap and other buttes are great, but the hike to get to them is difficult if you have a toddler with a stroller!


The Illinois River runs along the edge of the park, providing great views, fishing and the reason Fort St. Louis was established by the French on top of Starved Rock in 1682-83. It's easy to see why this point was chosen, the butte allows views both up and down the river for miles.


This is a definite destination for our next Summer, Fall and Winter hiking, the canyons, streams and waterfalls (after a rain) are great.

Pear Tree Blossoms

Our pear tree is finally in bloom. Each bloom is smaller than a dime, but when the tree is in bloom, the "odd", not too pleasant (but not horrible) fragrance can be detected for a long way.
These photos were taken around 7:00 pm, just as the last rays of sunshine washed over the tree.


US Senator Durbin Visits

Photo by T. Gill

United States Senator Richard Durbin (D IL) spoke with College students and staff this morning at North Central. His main topic was his legislation to reduce college loan interest rates and to reinstate the option for students to consolidate existing loans for lower interest rates.

Senator Durbin was gracious and remained positive as he encouraged students to use the internet to research the topic and to get involved by contacting their own Senators and Congressmen.


Somewhere along US 31 between Indianapolis and Kokomo Indiana, John G. found this fancy little restaurant and gas station.

Kind of makes you hungry, doesn't it?

Thanks for the photo, John!

Cypress Gardens Waterskiing


Here are some of the talented waterskiers that performed at Cypress Gardens in 1965.



A Solitary Bloom

First Sign of Spring

The daffodils made an appearance this weekend.