Day 10: New Glasses, “Starved Rock” State Park, Ottawa, and “Station One.”
Thursday, June 10th, 2021
A beautiful morning here in Illinois, I woke up ready to join the day with new adventures waiting. My first pair of glasses had arrived, so I tried them on and felt them out this morning. Walter insisted on also trying them off….what a goof.
News of very warm weather this week brought hesitation to my scheduled activities, but the show must go on. With water bottles, trail mix, and of course, Walter, my dear friend, and I headed out towards Starved Rock State Park.
Thankfully only an hour’s drive from here, we drove through the countryside, enjoying the sights on the way. I arrived at Starved Rock State Park around 10:00 a.m., parking free and plenty available. This being a State Park, it was also free to visit, and it made for a GREAT source of exercise. Starting at the Visitor’s Center, we headed up to Starved Rock first. Get ready to climb…lots, and lots, and LOTS of stairs. Seriously I was so sweaty and gross just going to the Rock first, which ironically the wooden deck was placed “on top” of it, so it was like “Oh I’m ON the infamous rock!”
Next was a healthy hike to Wildcat Canyon…. Up and down hills upon hills and then down a very steep wooden walkway and staircase to the bottom of the Canyon. But once there, it was so much cooler, and it was incredibly beautiful with the waterfall trickling over the rocks. As sweaty and tiring as it was to get to it, it was well worth the sight. We were so soaked with sweat that we were forced to buy t-shirts in the gift shop for fear of what others may smell on us the rest of the day.
Heading to find a place to eat, we came across the sweet, little town of Ottawa, IL. Loving Lincoln last summer, I was super excited to find this was another spot where Lincoln and Douglas first debated. This humble area had 1950’s music wafting down its Main Street, almost like being at Magic Kingdom. It was a neat experience that was just happened upon- we both had huge smiles walking downtown.
Exhausted and hungry, the temps dipping into the 90s, we headed to Plainfield for lunch at “Station One” Smokehouse. I ordered the St. Louis Ribs, with a side of tater tot casserole. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!! Once again, I was happy to eat somewhere new…. I would HIGHLY recommend this place if you found yourself in this area.
The evening was spent watching one of my favorite movies “A Knight’s Tale.” A perfect day with a perfect friend.
Today’s Moments of Kindness: Many people stopped us and asked us where we got the portable fans we were wearing around our necks. We gave them the information and how they were saving our sanity this very hot day.
Tomorrow brings another adventure, but oh so happy with the woods, the nature, and the smell of Earth today…always brings peace to my soul. See you tomorrow.
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