Monday, August 24, 2015

what we did for (part of) our summer vacation, or, the saga of the shoes.

                                    Jeff, Kaden and Malaika, expertly posing at the base of one of the waterfalls.

This June and early July, Malaika and I were able to spend three glorious weeks in Michigan with Meghann and family.

Meghann, lover of waterfalls and also Adventure Planner Extraordinaire, did some research and combined those things into a lovely camping trip for us all to do together. So, exactly two days after our car made tire tracks in her driveway, we all piled in it and headed for Starved Rock State Park, located in Illinois, about four hours from said driveway.

That part of the country had been getting lots and lots of rain, so the waterfalls were flowing beautifully. However, that also meant the mud was flowing pretty well, too.

 This is a gazebo outside the office where we got our trail maps. The trails are situated near and along the Illinois River, which had gone over its' banks. A bit.

But we had driven four hours with a seven year old and all the camping gear, so dang it, we were going hiking.

                                                     While we were still clean.

I don't know if you can see just how far down that goes.


It was a particularly humid day. And for any of the down stairways, there were also many up ones.

Inhalers were used.

Here is one of the flooded areas of the trail.

And here is the result.This was day one of a two day hike, so that night, we tried to dry our shoes out by the campfire in the hopes of knocking the dried mud off the next day.

1. The heat from the fire melted Jeff's soles so his shoes fell apart the next day, held together only by a couple of Malaika's hair ties, and that only poorly.

2. We could not leave our shoes out all night, because of the raccoon that stole Grandma's dentures once. So they hung out in the car overnight. When we opened the car up in the morning, well, just conjure up the smell of slightly melted, pungent mud, sweaty foot smell...

That's all the humorous, sort of messy details, but here are some of the beautiful rewards.

  A natural sculpture of an alligator or horse, or something. Depending on which angle you look at it.

                                                        that's Kaden behind the water

                     the light was so beautiful. it was pretty slippery here, as you can see where the greenish areas are. there were a few butt-falls and slides.

here is Malaika.

Second day, we were lucky to be mostly on these board trails. Or Jeff would probably have lost his shoes completely.

I'm sad I forgot to take any photos of our campsite. But here are our shoes after a trip to the laundromat. Jeff had to throw his away and get new ones.

We did lots of other fun and wonderful things, which I hope to share with you soon!


  1. Wow what great pictures. Looks like a ball. If I ever get to that part of the country I will have to try that. Glad you blogged again. Seems like all my blogging friends are doing less and less of it. Maybe it's just the summer time. Even I have slowed the number of my blog posts. I've been obsessed with the baseball season, but that seems to be ending badly for my Baltimore Orioles. Hope things are well.

    1. Thank you, I hope to soon post much more regularly. I thought you were very faithful with your blog!