Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not Your Ordinary Greyhound Tackles Starved Rock State Park

During the long holiday weekend, we were blessed with some absolutely beautiful weather.  We did quite a bit of hiking and hopefully we won't bore you with all the hiking pictures and stories.  Saturday we hiked closer to home since Mr. Taleteller and Morgan had class in the morning.  That allowed us to take Blueberry along, since Farmdale Park isn't a difficult place to hike.  Sunday we decided to venture out to Starved Rock State Park.  This time, it was only Morgan and Bunny who went, because neither Mr. Taleteller nor I are up to carrying a seventy pound Greyhound out of those canyons.

I visited Starved Rock often as a kid and I am well familiar with its history.  The park is comprised of eighteen canyons formed by glacial meltwater.  The Illiniweks, actually a subtribe known as the Kaskaskias, were in residence there in 1673 when two French explorers, Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette came and laid claim to the land.  Later, in the winter of 1682-83 Fort Saint Louis was built because it commanded such control over the Illinois River.  However, in the early 1700s raids by the Iroquois forced them to abandon the fort and move south to where Peoria is now located and build Fort Pimitoui.  Fort Saint Louis continued to be used by traders and fur trappers until the late 1720s, but then all but the barest remains of the fort were gone.  The park takes its name from a sad tale of retribution amongst the Illini tribes.  In the 1760s, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe was slain by a member of the Illiniwek tribe while attending a council meeting in southern Illinois.  There were battles fought to avenge his killing.  During one of the battles, a tribe of Illiniwek fled up the sandstone cliffs and were surrounded by the Potowatomi and Ottawa tribes.  There was no way for the Illiniwek to escape, and finally, they all either starved to death or jumped to their deaths in the Illinois River.  It was forever after known as Starved Rock.

As we hiked through the trails, I was extremely impressed by Bunny.  At one point, we were asked by someone about her athletic abilities and if she was as muscular as she is because of her training to race.  Mr. Taleteller informed them that "she's not your ordinary Greyhound" and that many don't like to be as active as she is.  It is now, at this point in her life, that I am extremely glad that I got her at such a young age.  She's been able to be on the go from such a young age that it has helped her a lot, but I think a lot of it is just her personality, too.  Blueberry has never been as excited to go to new places as Bunny has.  Bunny is always willing to go and give it her best shot.  At one point, she was forging ahead of Morgan on the endless stairs that we had to climb up and down.  She never batted an eye about giving things a try, and carried her Wolf Pack the entire way.

Morgan also did extremely well.  Her Wolf Pack isn't here yet, but it's on its way, so she wore another pack today to get used to things.  She was really social with people, which was a relief since the park was packed.  Many people asked to pet her, and Morgan was fine with all of them except one.  There was one man that she just wasn't having any part of letting touch her, and honestly, that's much better than we expected from her.

We were thrilled to see a lot of people there with dogs, too.  We saw everything from a giant black Great Dane to a Chihuahua who was being carried more than he was walking.  A lot of people commented on Bunny, talked to her and petted her.  She loved every minute of it!  I was surprised to note that we met people from Russia, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany and they were all charmed by our tiny girl.  She certainly doesn't suffer shyness or lack of ability to make friends.

It was so nice to be able to be out and experience the outdoors with the girls.  We visited French Canyon and felt very small.  The girls both cooled off their feet in the water there, and we took a break to drink some water. 

The girls were impressed to see some local wildlife.  Fortunately, it was a toad and a squirrel this time.  The bears that used to live in this area have moved on.  Morgan and Bunny certainly were ready to help the squirrels relocate, too.

All in all, we hiked over two hours and about six miles, so the girls were real troopers.  That was a lot farther than they've gone before, and the terrain was a lot more strenuous, too.  The best part was that after we had so much fun, we brought home some very tired dogs.  We will definitely be going back soon to admire the Fall colors!

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  1. What a terrific outing!

  2. That's a cool hike! Look at the pictures, the park is just marvellous and amazing for hiking.

    Please keep on feeding us your hiking pictures and stories, we love them!!!

    Tired dogs always mean happy dogs!!! Are they resting now!!!

  3. 6 miles is very impressive ! :) well done!

  4. OMGoodness, what wonderful country! Totally awesome, it's a wonder you didn't all fall off the trail just admiring the scenery! Bunny and Morgan did so well negotiating it. Well done Morgan for being nice to nearly everyone. Looks like a great walk was had by all. Lovely photos.

  5. What a fabulopus place.

    You definitely treat your Greyhounds differently over there, as here we are told two twenty minute walks is all they need. I walk Song for about 45 minutes a day and then the days I am over at my dad's she runs round his garden (I don't have any outside space where she could be off the lead).

    I love the packs the dogs wear. The photos are smashing, especially the one of Morgan with her dad.

  6. What a great story and photos. Love hearing about the history of the area, and am really happy for you that both girls did so well with so many people!

  7. What a great hike!
    That picture of Morgan posing is stunning:)

  8. 6 miles - thats awesome - I need to jump up my milage with the duo, ughhh.
    The pictures are beautiful - I love the one were they are on the stairs both looking out. What a great day!

  9. That looks like a most pawsome hike and a wonderful place to go. Blog Mom gets so excited about places like that, because she says that one thing about Long Island is - we've got no topography. If you want a view you have to go look at the ocean because that's about it, folks. You should see the little mound of earth that's the highest point in the area.

    I wonder what Morgan's reason for not liking that man was. We dogs know things. Don't you wish we could tell you in more detail? He's probably on some Most Wanted list.

    lotsa licks, LOla

  10. What a wunderful day all of you had. :)

    WOofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  11. What an awesome outing! Love the picture of Mr. Taleteller and Morgan!

  12. That is a great photo of Bunny.

  13. What a stunning place to hike. It is certainly well maintained.
    I am sure that the girrrrls both loved it, and I can tell that Morgan's DAD was proud of her... he was grinning ear to ear!!
    Love the history of the area. THANKS!! I really love that stuff.

  14. What a pawsome hike with Morgan and Bunny... the trail looked so beautiful and sounds like an international community was there. What goes in the wolf pack btw?

    Licks, hero

  15. Beautiful place, sounds like you really had an enjoyable outing.

  16. That's a beautiful park! Pity about the starvation, though. Sounds like a good place to see ghosts.

  17. I have never been to Starved Rock even though it's in my state! Go figure! I'd love to go there one day though. I'm sure it's especially pretty when the leaves start turning. Sounds like Bunny and Morgan had a wonderful time! We sure did have some nice weather for the holiday weekend, didn't we? :)

  18. Such a great write up and photos. We've always wanted to go to Starved Rock, and it looks amazing. Maybe next year.

  19. Very very fun! And so green, we don't get that much green here except in the early winter and spring.

  20. Why does it not surprise me that Bunny is loved wherever she goes - and now Morgan gets it too!!

  21. What a beautiful park and hiking area. 6 miles is a lot for any dog or human! Hats off to all of you.
    What do you put in your packs? Do you all mind wearing them?

    Drools and licks,
    Minnie and Mack

  22. Thanks for sharing your day out, a beautiful place and lovely photos. Not to sure about that squirrel!!!
    See Yea George xxx

  23. What fun fur all!

    I khan't wait to see the next hike now that Morgan's pakhk has arrived!

    Thanks fur sharing this great time!


  24. WoW!What a lovely hike!And such an interesting story too about that place.
    You girls definitely had a nice time.
    Buddy n Ginger

  25. Oh what a splendid time you guys had! It's always fun hiking the trails where history has taken place.

  26. Is dat da famous MR. TT? Oh so nice to finally meets you...if it IS you...hehehe! Oh yuo sooo famous...not really, I just making you feels special! Ha, I keels myself.

    What an awesome place to go fur a walk/hike...oh but I tired nows, I gots short leggies ya knows.


  27. This is not boring at all!! I love all the outdoorsy photos. Well.. almost all of them. That squirrel looks an awful lot like my nemesis.....


  28. Sounds like a great outing & love to see photo's from other places like this.

  29. I wasnt sure if I should post on my page or yours in response to Freds backpack.
    His backpack is made by ruffwear and its call the approach pack. I tried atleast 4 diffrent packs on him and always was adjusting them or they never fit him right and seemed comfy. After researching about 12 diffrent packs I settled on this with the best price for something that was in the middle for pricing.
    Two Pitties in the city uses this pack too and loves it just as much as I do. I bought mine online at Ruffwear products are amazing! Let me know if you have any certain questions about it :)


  30. I putted comments on here twice earlier and neither of them is showing. Now I cannot rememmer wot I writed. Boo. Anyways, furry kewl hike. Now let me try to post this and see if'n it werks. Three do be a charm, rite?


    YOUS WENT TO STARVED ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OKAY OKAY... 'da Josie not panic..

    'da Josie alittle Jello's.. butt yous going backs I's read!!!
    Um... yeah.. Mommy and Daddy gonna go when yous Mommy and Mr. TT go!!!!!! And we's meet nose to snout!!
    Oh's 'dis be fun!!!
    Did yous Mr. TT grow'd up in IL 'cuz Mommy lives in 'da Elgin area her whole life's and she tinks
    Mr. TT man looks familiar??

    'da Josie can't hike's butt I's can buy some cute hats to wears!!

    'da Josie

  32. What a NEAT walk! YOu guys do so much with your dogs. If I were a dog, I'd want to be in your pack.

    that squirrel looks like he's um, taking care of "business"! hahaha!

  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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