2014 Midwest USA Redux travel blog

Utica, IL - Starved Rock State Park - site 26

Utica, IL - Starved Rock State Park - site 26, another view

Utica, IL - Starved Rock State Park - site 26, and another

Utica, IL - Starved Rock State Park - almost empty right now...

Loves Park to Utica, IL 0 - our route - 85 miles

Loves Park to Utica, IL 1 - a wind farm along the...

Loves Park to Utica, IL 2 - downtown Utica

Loves Park to Utica, IL 3

Loves Park to Utica, IL 4 - an unusual funeral home

Loves Park to Utica, IL 5 - Duffy's Tavern, where we had...

Loves Park to Utica, IL 6 - the bridge over the Illinois...

Loves Park to Utica, IL 7 - the Illinois RIver which runs...

Loves Park to Utica, IL 8

Chainsaw Carvings 1

Chainsaw Carvings 2

Chainsaw Carvings 3

Chainsaw Carvings 4

Chainsaw Carvings 5

Chainsaw Carvings 6

Chainsaw Carvings 7

Chainsaw Carvings 8

Chainsaw Carvings 9

Chainsaw Carvings 10

Chainsaw Carvings 11

Chainsaw Carvings 12

Chainsaw Carvings 13

Chainsaw Carvings 14

Chainsaw Carvings 15

Chainsaw Carvings 16

Chainsaw Carvings 17

Chainsaw Carvings 18

Chainsaw Carvings 19

Chainsaw Carvings 20

Chainsaw Carvings 21

Hiking 1 - the Illinois River from the top of Starved Rock...

Hiking 2-a closer view of the lock-one of seven on the river...

Hiking 3 - a portion of Starved Rock

Hiking 4 - lots of steps today

Hiking 5 - "lots" is really an understatement!

Hiking 6 - a view of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap Overlook

Hiking 7 - Pelicans in the river

Hiking 8 - a better view of the dam

Hiking 9 - the entrance to the lock

Hiking 10 - looking East towards Lake Michigan, about 75 miles away

Hiking 11 - more steps - we went up or down 761...

Hiking 12

Hiking 13

Hiking 14 - Doris did real well, though she was worn out...

Our trip from Loves Park to Utica, IL was 85 miles of mostly Interstate 39. It was misting most of the way but that was much better than the storm that passed through the night before we left!

Utica is a very small town just across the Illinois River from Starved Rock State Park, where we are staying. Just like Rock Cut State Park, we only have 50 amp electricity with no water but a good dump on the way out of the park. The sites are very large and well kept, though ours is a little under water from the storm the night before we arrived. By the second day it had dried up a bit so wasn't too bad. We have 1.5 bars of Verizon but the data is pretty good and the satellite connection was easy so we are set.

On Thursday we went hiking in the park. The hiking here is all about the canyons and the river front. Of course that means lots of ups and downs over stairs going up and down the canyon walls. We counted a total of 761 steps total that we either went up or down over a hike of about two miles that took us three hours to accomplish. Doris did very well though she was pretty well finished by the time the hike was over but she is getting stronger and stronger!!

We also hiked around the lodge to see the various chainsaw carvings that had been done. Many were very intricate and many were also carved on trees that had died and were still in place. Luckily we did this hike before the canyon hike or we would not have seen them!!

We leave tomorrow for Crawfordsville, IN, a little outside Lafayette, where we will spend three nights.

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