My friend Viv spent the weekend with me. On Sunday, we drove to Starved Rock National Park in Oglesby, Illinois. It is an hour-and-a-half drive each way but the day was so wonderful one just have to enjoy the sceneries along the way.
I know Illinois is flat and most that one can see is endless farmlands with an occasional country house, silos and old barns. Corn plants were browned, the ones that were left otherwise most of them are already tilled or harvested.
But Starved Rock is up on a hill and covered with trees. We went there hoping to be able to see the plains awashed in Fall colors but it was not as spectacular as the ones we saw at Morton Arboretum on Saturday. There was a big crowd just the same and parking by the lodge was so difficult to get. We got lucky after about a half hour of driving around in the lot, following the occasional family whom we suspected were leaving. There were parking for overflow but who’d want to walk for half a mile?
The first stop was at the Information Center where we got stuck as my companions went shopping for souvenirs of t-shirts and sweatshirts. I got one for myself.
There are many trails in the park and a walking stick would help. They were made from China though.
The tram carries tourists to different tourist spots in the area. There is also a paddle wheel boat but we didn’t try them this time.
These log cabins are available for rent all year round.
By the time we finally got to the Lodge it was a little past noon. We went there for brunch, good thing it was extended to lunch time. We didn’t have reservations so we sat outside at the patio which was better as we had a view and better for us to enjoy the temperate weather and sun. The last of al fresco dining before Winter sets in.
A sampling of what we got.
I think our arrival was great timing. We didn’t have this crowd when we got there but by the time we were queueing for dessert, it seemed like every one from all the towns nearby were there to party. Even seats outside were hard to come by.
While Aunt Claire and Viv shopped some more I walked around the Lodge. In the end I joined them and got myself and my sister scarves and some $5 watches on sale to send home to my nieces and nephew to the Philippines.