Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hoofing It Up The Mountain

Bunny here, taking over the keyboard to tell you about our exciting hike on Saturday.

We went to Pere Marquette State Park which, as it turns out, is the largest state park in Illinois as far as acreage goes.  It is named after Jacques Marquette, a French priest who came to the area with French explorers in 1673.  They were the first Europeans to ever come to the area where the Mississippi, Illinois and Arkansas rivers all converge.  There are approximately 150 Native American burial mounds in the area, a leftover remnant from the era of the Illini Confederacy.  During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps was formed and they built many lodges and structures in the area, most of which still stand today. 

One thing about the park is that from certain vantage points, you can see where the rivers merge together.  It is definitely a very scenic park.  It also has very steep hills.  I thought I was going to have to put Mom in my backpack at one point and carry her up the hill.  Dad took my leash for a while, and that did not make me a happy camper.  I kept a sighthound eye on her at all times.  When we got to the top, we all rested for a while and admired the view.

Loess is one of the things the park is know for.  It's what forms the yellow cliffs that you often see in the park.  It's made from a windblown dust from the prehistoric ages.  It definitely makes for some interesting rock formations, like the Half Bridge.

Of course, you can imagine that Morgan and I were excited about seeing the local wildlife, and we were not disappointed.  Besides the usual chipmunks and squirrels, who were quite bold in the park, runnng right under Morgan's nose at one point, we also saw some cute little lizards.  Then we heard about the Piasa Bird.  I even read about it in Mom's Weird Illinois book.  It's a legendary giant bird that the Native Americans claimed could and did fly off with children and large animals.  I kept my eye on the sky when we weren't under tree cover, I can promise you that!  I hope he knows that I have never harmed a bird in my life.  In fact, I even let a baby robin go once when I caught it in the turn out pen.  Fortunately, we made it out of there with no sightings of giant birds.

After our hike, we went up to see the lodge.  There was a wedding going on and we all thought that it was certainly a lovely place for a wedding.  The bride sure looked happy!  Inside the lodge was beautiful, too.  The artwork that hangs from the ceiling was crafted especially for the lodge by a local artist.  The Four Rivers Fabric Art is constructed of 6,000 fabric leaves and 30,000 yards of thread.  You can read more about it in the link if you'd like.  It's very impressive to see, and I'm sorry we didn't get better pictures of it.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our hike for the weekend.  I will tell you one thing.  I am going to be doing a lot more research about these places Dad wants to go to after that big bird!

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  1. Thanks fur sharing that pawesome hike!

    Good lukhk with toting Mom next time!


  2. you sure know a lot about these places, bunny!!! ;)

  3. Thanks for sharing the pics of your hike. I'm always interested in historic places to visit and the art in the lodge look very cool!

  4. Oh be careful on that fence! And you too Morgan on the rock!

    Sounds like you had fun though. You do know the best places to go!

    Cuddles and licks,
    Love Miley xxx

  5. What a wonderful hike you all had! It made my heart almost stopped when I saw you on the plank, the view was definitely beautiful down there but you're so brave! Morgan too, sitting at the edge of the rock or cliff! Gosh!!!

    I'm so glad you all met some wildlife creatures and a wedding couple!

  6. You and Morgan are real adventure dogs. And fearless too! Those rocks and stuff looked scary. You must be very nimble.


  7. WOW!! What a great adventure you had - and beautiful photographs. We love catching lizards too - hehe.

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  8. I always learn so much about Illinois from your posts! I need to make mom take me to some of these cool parks. But, PLEASE, be careful on that ledge and Morgan too, on that rock! You guys were making me a little nervous!

    That giant Plasa bird sounds interesting - maybe Josie Posie and I should come down and investigate. Of course, we would need your protection - I wouldn't want either of us to be carried away!

    Your pal, Pip

  9. Those are wonderful pictures!
    I am sure glad that bird wasn't there and didn't have a chance to steal you:)

  10. I think those wedding peeples woz askeered of that burd too coz did you see the mans there with the big knife poker thingies up in the air? I think they woz saying "Bring it on you big burd!"

  11. That Piasa bird sounds scary. We were also scared to see you standing on that high rail - be careful, please.

    You do such a great job of showing us the lovely places you visit - your narration is so interesting and informative - makes us want to go too. Thanks again for a fun visit.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  12. Okays ya'll just scared da crap outta me be so brave. Are ya'll crazy walking on a 2x4 and climbing up on a rock???????? Never has a blog so you must be crazy.
    Those were some most beautiful fotos though!!!!! Seriously, they was awesome.


  13. Great Pictures! Miss Bunny you have no fear!!
    The wedding was cool but those Rocks are awesome! What a peaceful hike - we are sooooo jealous! Fred would have loved to be there with you bunny ;)

    Fred and Hay

  14. Cool place - State parks really do have an awful lot to offer. You just really never know what you will see.

    Wow - you daredevil hounds....braver than I am and with no one hanging on to the other end of your leads. Yikes!

    Glad you had a good time, very nice photos!

  15. Looks like a great hike!

  16. Well my mom was NOT happy about having to clean up the Poops you two scared outta me. NO more walkin on the high scary stuffs, OK???
    BUTT (PUN INTENDED) I gotta say... this was one of the most beautiful walkie posts I have EVER seen. Did you chase that Blizzard thingy??? Did you call him D.Q.???

  17. You got some great pictures! Love the one on the plank where it looks like you are high off the ground. Next one of Morgan is cool too!

  18. Picture 5 has a scary face on it!!! And I love the critter in pic 6!!!!

    Hugs & smoochies!!! XOXO

  19. Wow! What a Most WONDERFUL hike, Bunny! You sure do gets to go to a lot of super great places. Hey, I gots to chase a lizard when we went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I don't think I ever saw one of those before. They were fun! But, um, that bird sounds skeery. Do you think it's related to the Sea-Link Fahn Bird in my kitchen?

    Wiggles & Wags,

  20. Wow, seeing you and Morgan on those precarious ledges scared me! I'd never be able to do that!! You two are very brave!

  21. Hi Bunny and gang,
    You took some pawsome pictures!! Beautiful!!! It makes us want to go!! Really pretty place!!
    It is so good for you all to get out and walk in wonderful places like that!! It excites the spirit!!!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!
    Love your visits!!
    XXOO, Bambi & Fern

  22. Thanks for taking us on your hike! Your pictures are great, as usual. We always learn something new here, and now we are off to click the link about the fabric art!

    Emma Rose

  23. Wow, thanks for sharing the pictures of your hike Bunny! I really liked the looks of that lizard. Bet I coulda caught him!


  24. What a fabulous place to hike. Glad you had a fab time.

  25. Just love getting to come along on those hikes!!! We wishes we was with you, actually! We never knew about a Piasa (scary) bird, or that you had lizards in Illinois!!! We never heard of the park or that kind of rock! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place with us - we can see how much you enjoy those hikes and views!
    Big Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and Avalon

  26. and your mom wonders why you and Morgan are becoming fast buddies. I've always found walking dogs together always makes them become buddies... look at all the hikes you two are doing! simply pawesome.

    and um, our bad boy over here has taken to chasing the lizards, a lot! he ignored them in CA and now they suddenly look like fun. i think they are slightly faster or something.

  27. Great post, love the pictures. Looks like a great place to visit. Not too far....we may have to go sometime.

  28. What awesome photo's of a cool adventure.

    That Marquette guy did lots of expolorin' here in Michigan too. He really got around, huh?

    Nubbin wiggles,

  29. What fantastic photos - we really enjoyed them!

    take care
    Clive and Murray

  30. What a beautiful place you guys went to. Those balancing acts got us scared...Hope it was a lot of fun
    Snuggles & snorts,
    Benny & Lily

  31. Wow!
    That place is pawesome! Thanks for the info about it!
    I felt nervous too looking at you on that fence!
    Kisses and hugs

  32. I like the pictures of you resting at the top. Though Morgan looks a little close to the edge; heights scare

  33. OMD, what were you doing up on that railing? Aside from that the photos were pawsome and it was fun reading about your adventures. But please, keep all four paws on solid ground. You're giving me a heart attack here.

    lotsa licks, Lola

  34. Great adventure, Bunny, with wonderful photos. You know a lot of local history:-) I love the rock face! And the view from the top sure looked worth the hike. What a gorgeous place for a wedding too. I wonder where you're off to this weekend?


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