Monday, July 16, 2007

Day Tripping

Whenever I go out for a day trip, I just never know what I might find...
On Wednesday July 11, we set out to see Metropolis, you know, the home of Superman! Along the way we were diverted by some sights. We passed Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on our way out of town. I made Kenny stop to see some of the roadside displays. I learned they have a catfish at the bottom of the lake there that is called "Ole Whiskers". They issue a challenge out to those who might be inclinded to catch him. Since I have a National Park Passport, I made Kenny stop on our way back so that I could get my passport stamped.

Further down the road we found Cache River State Natural Area. This is a Cypress Swamp right in the state of Illinois! You normally only see things like that in the deep south. They have some trees in the area they believe are 1000 years old. It is a very unique ecosystem for sure. We got to see a bald eagle on his perch while there. The interpretive center had a great presentation on how they believe this swamp formed as glaciers melted at the end of the ice age. The Lord uses all events in our lives and in our history to display his creativity and imagination!

On to Metropolis where I found the real Superman changing in his telephone booth!

The following day, Thursday the 12th, we took Pru and went to Ferne Clyffe State Park and took a stroll down Waterfall Trail in search of some waterfalls. I was a little disturbed that my camera didn't have any batteries, but it was just as well. We followed the trails down through some beautiful rock formations that had little tiny caves formed in them. It looked like a lot of tiny birdhouses. When we finally got to the falls we found that there was insufficient water to make the falls fall. The rocks were pretty though and we were in the woods so it was shady even though the day was hot.
The campground at Ferne Clyffe was really pretty. Sites were level and there was water and electric at the sites.
We then headed out to see Lake of Egypt. There were signs along route 37 indicating that it was there, though we really didn't know what it was. So we followed the signs. Before reaching the Lake of Egypt we found Tunnel Hill. This is a 47 mile bicycle path that used to be an old rail bed. We went on the trail right before the tunnel in the hill. Wish I had my camera. Best I can suggest is that you might want to check out pictures on the Illinois Parks website... The railway used to belong to Norfolk and Southern, but was granted to the State of Illinois in 1991. Pru didn't like walking through the dark tunnel with us, but she made it through and wasn't permanently injured.
Up the road we found Recreation Road. The signs indicated that if you went down the road you would get to the Lake of Egypt. Apparently the Lake of Egypt is a recreation area and has a boat landing. The gravel road we followed turned to dirt and got narrower and narrower. I was beginning to think there was nothing to see when all the sudden we came upon the boat launch and aside from the parking lot and a view of the water there was really nothing there. Like I said you never know.

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