Between rainfalls I've been able to get out a couple times. Finally the Virginia bluebells I've watched for weeks are starting to bloom. Perhaps they're timid and should be approached more gingerly?
A Year Ago Today - Beam-Suntory at Sundown Meadow
Since we don't have any recent work to report, I'm going to revisit last April 30. We had several sites scheduled to host a large corporate group, from Beam-Suntory. Two of the sites were in Palos, while one, Sundown Meadow, was in Countryside. Rainfall led to both of the Palos sites canceling, so both of those groups came instead to Sundown. All told we had more than 85 volunteers!
We'd never plan for a group that large; 25 is a much more manageable number. With a huge assist from FPCC staff (Volunteer Resources and Little Red Schoolhouse) we made it work. Included is a picture because the crazy days are often the best ones.
Virtual Trek to Andrews Glacier & Andrews Tarn, Rocky Mountain National Park
In September 2008 I drove to my favorite destination, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. It's a day-hiker's dream, with a fantastic assortment of trails within a relatively contained space. The scenery is off-the-charts.
Upon my arrival on September 12 snow was falling in the mountains, and I immediately drove as high on Trail Ridge Road as was allowed. Snow at any time thrills my soul - in September it's sheer ecstasy!
Several days later I hiked to what one writer describes as "a vanishing species - the North American glacier." A fairly strenuous trek, but well worth the effort. The first stretch of trail takes you past the lovely Alberta Falls to the equally striking alpine lake called The Loch.
Several trail junctions and much rock-hopping and route-finding bring you above treeline and eventually to the cirque terminating at Andrews Glacier and Tarn (Lake). The top of the glacier borders the Continental Divide - if you look closely at the photos you can see tracks winding through the snow. Not my tracks, I wasn't equipped for snow travel and opted for prudence.
Instead I just hung out a while, enjoying the view and the solitude. Over a span of three hours I only saw two people; they were heading down while I was still on my way up. This was one of the more memorable hikes I've done over my multi-year fascination with the mountains.
As I arrived in Illinois, remnants of Hurricane Ike were moving through the state. Julie was, at the same time, returning from her parents' house in Arkansas, and she essentially was chased north by the winds and squalls. The last couple photos below are from Starved Rock, with the Illinois River well over its banks. Nature in multiple manifestations, in the matter of a few days.