Once again my favorite season is almost here, AUTUMN! OCTOBER! October is Southern IL is a beautiful thing.
We have had some teaser weather as of late, lows in the 50's with highs only in the upper 60's or 70's. I couldn't
wait any longer to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. Of course, just as soon as I did so the daily
highs jumped back up into the upper 80's, ALMOST 90˚, never fails.
Last weekend my husband and I joined some friends from northern IL for a little get-away to Starved Rock State Park
in Utica, IL. What an absolutely beautiful place! I would suggest to anyone wanting a little vacation time in a really pretty
location, with lots of hiking, fishing (if that's your thing), sight-seeing, etc., to drive the 305 miles (from Marion) to
enjoy this gem in Northern IL. There are numerous canyons, waterfalls and the Illinois River to enjoy. One can stay in the
Starved Rock Lodge or cabin or camp at a nearby campground.
St. Louis Canyon/Waterfall
We also visited the nearby town of Utica at least a couple of times. There are several places of interest including a
small museum, leather shop, gift shop with wine tasting available and a wonderful little restaurant called "The Blooming
Onion". A little further east, nearer to Ottowa is a Cajun restaurant (can't recall the name) that has excellent food and
a really fun atmosphere. All in all we had a really good time and I wouldn't mind returning sometime.
As I write this we are awaiting news of the landfall of hurricane Ike in Texas. Gas prices here in Southern IL have already
been affected, prices range from $3.99 to $4.85 per gallon... a little price gouging! Here's hoping and praying Galvaston
and Houston are not as hard hit as predicted.
Life goes on, so just remember to Live, Love and Laugh! Life is too short not to!