Wednesday May 28th - Today we travelled from Elkhart IN to Starved Rock State Park in Utica IL. We travelled on 80 most of the way on the south side of Chicago. Pretty nice travelling. Found the state park and set up camp. On the way over to the visitor center we passed a corn field that had been turned and there were several turkeys. There were lots there when we came back several hours later too.
We hiked for a few hours from Starved Rock to Lovers Leap and around a loop taking in views from Eagle Cliff Overlook; Beehive Overlook, Wildcat Canyon and back by way of the Pontiac Canyon. Legend has it that in the 1760’s, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe upriver from here, was slain by an Illiniwek while attending a tribal council in southern IL. According to the legend, during one of the battles that subsequently occurred to avenge his killing, a band of Illiniwek, under attack by a band of Potawatomni (allies of the Ottawa), sought refuge atop a 125 foot sandstone butte. The Ottawa and Potawatomi surrounded the bluff and held their ground until the hapless Illiniwek died of starvation – giving rise to the name “Starved Rock”.
Standing on Starved Rock looking at Lovers Leap
The view from the visitor area up at Starved Rock (think we did a lot of stair climbing?)
Lovers Leap looking at Starved Rock
Bald Eagle Facts
The valley was formed by a series of floods as glacial meltwater broke through moraines, sending torrents of water surging across the land and deeply eroding the sandstone and other sedimentary rocks.
One of many carved trees in the park
Didn’t know Duffy had a tavern, but here it is.