i hope you have fun weekend plans, and if you’re here in spfld, i hope they don’t involve any outdoor activities because it’s supposed to rain a lot.  but of course you never really know about the weather until you’re actually right there in it…

last week i went to a one-day massage workshop in ottowa, and kevin and i spent three lovely nights at the lovely and historic Starved Rock Lodge.  there are hiking trails all over the place, and it was fun to hike all around.  Starved Rock has many canyons with waterfalls, but it had been dry up there, so we were advised that the waterfalls wouldn’t be flowing so much.  we didn’t care.

we drove up on monday afternoon; it was only a two-hour drive.  i’ve heard about starved rock for so long, and i don’t know why we’ve never been there!  i was under the impression that it was a lot farther away.

we stayed in the older section of the lodge, in a big room with a bay view.  it was nice, but kind of dark.


of course we brought enough stuff to last a week, but there was ample room to spread it out all over the place.


it was so warm last monday, in the 80’s.  it was just as warm up there, but by the time we decided to take a little hike before dinner, it had cooled a bit.  we were going to hike to the first waterfall, only .4 miles away, but we passed a guy standing on a little bridge and took a different route, and that later turned out to be the direction to the first waterfall.  instead, we hiked a mile, and came to this waterfall.  not gushing so much.


a few girls were down in the canyon, taking selfies and pictures of each other.  to the right of them is a pile of water bottles.  the amount of litter in the park was shocking.  the vast majority of the little was water bottles, and we couldn’t understand how people could be so destructive.


i just read online that the park had almost 2.5 million visitors last year, the most ever.  the reason the park has so many wooden walkways and stairs is because all the visitors were starting to erode it.  the park was voted the #1 attraction in illinois!  another reason for all the water bottles and other trash, but come on people, pick up your litter.  i assume that park rangers walk through and collect the garbage, but the amount of debris must be overwhelming.


one of the many overlooks.




the photo-op girls were stopped at this eagle statue, taking pictures of each other and i offered to take one of them, then got them to take this.

we then had dinner in the nice lodge dining room.  a very pleasant evening!

my aunt sandy said she’d always wondered why it’s called Starved Rock, and here’s the grisly story:

The park derives its name from a Native American legend. In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this council of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, Kinebo, the head chief of the Illinois tribe stabbed Chief Pontiac. Vengeance arose in Pontiac’s followers. A great battle started. The Illinois, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock.

Starved Rock because…they starved.

the next day kevin drove me the scenic 15 minute drive to Ottowa.  it was a good workshop, and the place where it was held is fantastic.  it’s called Salt Tree Yoga, and i can’t say enough good things about this fantastic place.  the workshop was held in the lovely yoga room, but it’s they also have a himalayan salt cave.  more on that later.  they also had lots of cool stuff to buy – jewelry and salt lamps and all kinds of stuff.

this is the cool art in the bathroom.


meanwhile, back at home, winnie found a safe place to nap.


kevin drove back for lunch, and we went to a little pretzel place nearby.  we took our sandwiches to a park, and i wish i had one of those sandwiches right now.  the place is called Didoughs Pretzels.  i don’t usually care about pretzels, but man, the sandwich was good.  i could have eaten another one, and this is just half of it!  the little pile of white powder next to it is sweetner that i spilled, FYI. not cocaine!

it was fun to stroll over to the park.  Ottowa is a small town, but it seems to be doing quite well – there were quite a few interesting shops and restaurants all around the town square.  i haven’t been to any small towns around here that are doing so well.  maybe it’s because ottowa is only an hour from chicago?  hard to say.


after a good afternoon of learning, kevin came back and we ate at Bianchi’s pizza, the place that the girls at the pretzel place said was great.  it was.




on our way back to the lodge we stopped to take picture of the sunset over the river.




luckily we were going to spend wednesday hiking around, to try to burn off a little of those million delicious calories.

soon, i will post many photos of our big hike.

ok then,

still mrs. friday morning hughes.