Starved Rock

October 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )


This was much cooler and larger in real life.

This was much cooler and larger in real life.

Scott and I had another camping excursion last weekend, this time to Starved Rock State Park.  I’d never been before but Scott used to go about a decade ago and was under the impression we could hike the awesome trails of the park right from our campsite.  In reality, the campsite was a few miles drive from the park but we were still able to do some hiking.  Here are the pros and cons of this site compared to the one we went to at the Illinois State Beach Park a few weeks ago:

Pros:

  • We got to do a lot of great hiking and I saw places in nature I’d never seen before

Cons:

  • It was about an hour further of a drive (each way)
  • The campsite wasn’t as nice/secluded
  • The bathrooms DEFINITELY weren’t as nice
  • Alcohol was technically prohibited but just about everyone was drinking anyway

All in all, I think I liked the campsite at the Beach Park better but the hiking at Starved Rock made up for any difference.  We spent about 3 hours hiking around, going through canyons and up and down various overlooks and peaks.  It was gorgeous.  My photos didn’t really do the view justice at all and I didn’t take too many since I was so involved with the scenery.  Obviously I took the one of breakfast because I just love food so much and that photo did do the meal some justice.  The hike was the highlight of the camping experience though and I’m looking forward to the next time we make that trek.  There was a Visitor’s Center that had a small museum and some info that I enjoyed reading and there were plenty of trails to choose from.  Kids, families, groups of friends and couples were everywhere but the crowds tapered off the further you got from the Center.  It was definitely worth the trip.  There’s a lot of history to that area and the name of the place comes from a Native American tribe who was fighting with another tribe and basically chose to starve at the top of the plateau rather than surrender.  Kind of depressing but absolutely interesting.

Breakfast of Champions!

Breakfast of Champions!

We almost didn’t stay though because the weather called for strong storms all night.  The winds were really strong when we were setting up camp and we had to chase down our tent more than once – until we stuck the cooler in there to weigh that sucker down.  We decided to tough it out though, come hell or high water, and the only thing we dealt with was the water.  The rain managed to hold off until about 10pm so we had enough time for veggie dogs and s’mores before it hit.  When it started, though, there was no avoiding it.  We basically called it a night then and slept through the worst of it.  The tent held up fairly well and only got soggy in one spot, so that was nice.  In the morning the weather cleared up and became beautiful again so we were able to dry all of our equipment off while making the delicious breakfast seen here.

The whole experience was a great way to welcome the fall and I hope timing and weather cooperates so we can go once more before winter really hits.  Who knew camping could be so much fun?!

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