Today is Rob and Diane's anniversary, so we went with them doing what we all love best - hiking outside!
We went to the Starved Rock area, and obviously the Starved Rock state park is the main attraction, but we did visit a very cool little hiking trail in Matthiessen State Park, as well. Diane found a cute little stick bug, and we hiked in the "lower dell," which is basically a little limestone canyon.
We climbed all up over the trees, rocks, and hills in the canyon - can you find Dave in this photo?
And I'm sure you can find Rob in this next one - he's pulling a Gollum in one of the little caves.
We found some Eastern European tourists at one end of the dell, and they got a really cute picture of the four of us.
As you can tell, it was a beautiful day. After Matthiessen, we ate our picnic lunch, which consisted of various goodies that Diane and I put together: almonds, PB&J sandwiches, CSA veggies, homemade roasted red pepper hummus, and delicious fruit.
Then it was time to go over to Starved Rock, which is mostly shady and offered us some shelter from the heat of the sun.
There were lots of annoying teenagers running about, but the crowd thinned out as we approached LaSalle Canyon. Sadly, the dry weather lately has meant that all the waterfalls at Starved Rock and Matthiessen were dried up, but I guess this just means we'll have to head out again early next spring when everything is still wet.
It was great to chat with Rob and Diane up and down the trails. We even found funny things to joke about, like this bridge (at right) held up by little more than a downed tree branch. Sighhhh.
On the way back, we had some awesome ice cream, including one of my favorite flavors, zanzibar chocolate. Mmm.
Tonight we've been hanging out watching "The Office" and eating veggies, potstickers, and chocolate ice cream with the last of the Valley Orchard blackberries. We got a visit from Andy, who dropped off some delicious co-op meat that we ordered, and I'm packing up a baby blanket for a friend's shower, too, so it has been a pretty fun night in. We haven't had many of those lately, so I have been soaking it in!
5 hours ago