The Illinois Valley area has some of the best hiking trails in Illinois. We usually got to Matheson State Park and hike along the river that has cut deep beds (150 feet deep) chasms, but it was closed because of the flooding last week. We decided to go to the Starved Rock State Park instead as (we thought) it was high ground. Although the lower entrance was closed, the upper was open. It was mayhem in the parking lot as the lower larger parking lot was flooded & people were parking all over the place. We found a place not too far from the entrance that looked like an old grove & parked. It had no sign stating ‘No Parking’ so we went for it.
We walked the dogs along the road and down a long flight of stairs. You have to go down to get up. We then started to climb the stairs to Starved Rock.
The story of Starved Rock is a sad and maybe not so fact based story, but what good story is? A man named Peoria or at least a man from the Michigamea Illinois tribe was said to have murdered the Ottawa Chief in St. Louis in the early 1700’s. Members of the Potowatomi, Ottowa & Mesquakie nations came to the Illinois nations tribes and attacked. The Illinois tribes were not ready for the attack and retreated to the high, rocky ground (Starved Rock) at that time known as Le Rocher. Although they escaped the attacking Indians arrows, they had no access to food or water…. Hence, they starved.
I will write more about this area when I come back down here for Memorial Day (End of May).
Even sadder was my favorite winery (Illinois River Winery) was flooded and not open for business when we passed. I had planned on stocking up on their awesome sweet wines. I highly recommend their wine & hopefully on-line ordering hasn’t ceased.
Enjoy the day & keep on planting!
© Ilex Farrell