Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Starved Rock Trip

          Well yesterday I went on a much needed one day vacation to Starved Rock. Wow, the last time I believe I was there was back in grade school. A lot of things had changed since then (I am referring to the place and myself).

          It is not a place for those who can not get up and down many stairs, with many being steep and some with a rather long drop. There are not very many flat surfaces most of it is a lot of up and down with sandy path ways that are riddled with tree roots. Even though stairs are used they are not used throughout. The terrain and tree roots have made faux stairs that only people who are agile can negotiate.

         The injury I sustained to both my knees years ago gave me some issues with the obstacles but I was able to manage, although not gracefully I am sad to report.

          Surprisingly the problem I did have that proved to be the hardest and most scary for me was making it back up all the man-made steep stairs back to the top. I am very embarrassed to say I am not as fit as I was back in my twenties. My heart was beating very fast and hard, every few steps I would have to stop and rest a bit. If it wasn't for those dang stairs I could have kept on going. My dog Fussy she came with us and she to had a problem getting back up the stairs as well.

          Despite having problems getting back out of the trail we did have a very good time and the views were beautiful. Little squirrels and chipmunks where scurrying every where throughout the forest and acorns and leafs rained down from above. I don't have any idea how we made it out without being hit by any of the falling acorns. A few times they rained down so heavy and hard I knew that if we got hit by one of these tiny missiles it was going to leave a bruise. Some of the path was where made up of wood planks and when the acorns would hit they exploded with bits of acorn shrapnel.

          Fussy (she is that little speck in the picture above) she had a great time. She hadn't the faintest idea where we were or where we were going but she was determined to lead. She pulled the whole way with a huge smile on her muzzle. Even when she was getting tired she was determined to keep on truckin'. We had to keep her in check because she was just so delirious with excitement she would have just tumbled right off a drop offs. As it was she kept tripping an falling over when ever she wasn't paying attention or stealing a peek back at us. (Don't worry she never got hurt, if she had we would have stopped immediately and gotten her out.)

          At one point we stopped at one of the maps to see where we were and to figure out which fork in the road we should take. After we figured out which way to go we started up the stairs then we came to another fork and neither one of us could remember which path we needed so I waited with Fussy while my sister ran back to the map.

          As I am wait Fussy decides she is tired of waited for us and figures she need to make decision. So she picked the stairs and stared up before I could stop her. From down by the map my sister yells up that we need to head right. I look over at Fussy and tell her "Sorry sweetie you picked the wrong path, come on down." Fussy was insistent that the direction she picked was correct. After a bit of coxing I had her come back down and off we went on the right hand path.

            We reached a flight of stairs headed down. My sister and Fussy reach the bottom and my sister turns to me (I am still half way up the staircase) and she tells me that it is a dead end. Fussy was right, we took the wrong path. So I tell Fussy to come back up the stairs however she was really insistent that she needed to keep going down this wrong path. No matter what we did she wouldn't listen. So we gave up and followed her. She was right again! Poor thing, she needed to take a potty break. LOL! Dogs must get so frustrated trying to communicate with us humans.

          Where we ended up was the only place that had a muddy ground with a tiny stagnant stream. Up until this point Fussy with here long Springer coat had stayed fairly clean. She mostly had seeds, leafs, and bits of twigs in her coat. Just by her walking on the muddy ground her feet were black and then she started falling over. Plop! Right in the mud. We walked over to the stream and sure enough, PLOP! Fussy fell in, luckily it was only a few inches deep. After she collected her self you could see the little light bulb go off in her head. Water! Before we could stop her she took a swig out to the stream. We both screamed, "No!" Well needless to say we broke out the water bottles and dish for her to drink out of.

          I wish I could have taken more photos but between enjoying the scenery and keeping the deliriously happy Fussy in check I didn't have the time. Besides most of landscape wouldn't have translated very well into a photo.

         Today me and Fussy are still pooped, I know my mussels are very sore and from the looks of her she is to. I guess it is pain pills for the two of us for a while. All in all it was a good day and a great change of pace for the both of us.

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