A view from the bottom of one of Starved Rock’s sandstone canyons
Starved Rock State Park is consistently ranked the most beautiful place in Illinois. I finally was able to get out there with a few friends on a gorgeous fall day to explore the canyons. Unfortunately there wasn’t much water flowing as far as waterfalls go, but the changing leaves more than compensated.
There are 14 main canyons that are accessible with a boardwalk. There are some stairs to climb, but the walking is relatively easy. The further away you get from the visitor center, the more peaceful it is! It’s easy to spend a full day wandering around and it’s nearly impossible to get lost.
Dandelions beside the river at Governor Dodge
On Memorial Day weekend I went to Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin with a few friends to do some hiking. It was my first trip out of Chicago since coming home from New Zealand and I was long overdue for some greenery. We braved the mosquitos and walked around the Stephens’ Falls area, which is an easy loop that has a storage houses and other remnants from when the Stephens family occupied the land in the late 1800s. The namesake waterfall is tranquil, and the track is well maintained. There are many wildflowers, such as the Virginia waterleaf, daisies, dog roses, wood violets, and dandelions.
The Chicago city flag represented on a mural in Pilsen
When my friend Jackie came to Chicago for a few weeks I knew a street art hunt was in order. We headed to the Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen, which is home to a massive stretch of murals along 16th Street. There were some great local pieces as well as some by world renowned artists like Reyes and ROA. It was a great day capped off with a couple of Modelo Negros at DeCOLORES.