Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I love you like a rock

Mother's Day and Mommy gets to pick what we do. We usually just go out to eat at the place of my choosing but I wanted to do a little outing since we just got out of school and it was Mother's Day too. I can always find a reason to celebrate. We took off after church for southern Illinois or more specifically the Shawnee National Forest. Ever heard of it? Me either...until I went to look up some fun day trips from where we live and hapt upon this destination. It was only about 100 miles from where we live but with the late start we decided to stay overnight. 

I found a neat looking place called Timber Ridge Cabins and Treehouses. I would love to have gotten one of the Treehouses (Treehouse Masters is one of my favorite shows!) but they were booked so we went with a cabin.  We were in  Sassafras Ridge. It was really cute.

It was also pet friendly so we got to take Peach which was great because it would have been too much trouble to board him and it was also too late since we decided to do this late Saturdat afternoon. 

Upstairs there were two double beds, a day bed and a trundle. The couch downstairs also slept two but we all camped out upstairs. 

 There was a nice big bathroom and a kitchen downstairs which is just our kind of camping. 
We got there around 330 and unpacked the car before heading out. 

The first place we went was called Garden of the Gods. The info says the rocks are 320 million years old. I don't know if I believe all that but they were really cool rocks. 

The kids loved climbing on the rocks. There were 100 ft cliffs so it was pretty scary in places. I have no doubt people have fallen to their death at this place. But we were very careful and didn't take any chances. 

Here Mallory is pointing at Camel Rock which is one of the most famous sights in this part of the forest. There is even a special Illinois quarter with this rock on it. We got one when we checked in:)

After this we headed to a place called Rim Rock to check out another trail the gal at the cabin place recommended. 
Unfortunately we got about 5 minutes down the trail and saw a green snake slither across the path. That wouldn't have been so bad but about the same time we looked over just off the path and there was a copperhead. So we retreated. On the way to the car we saw some people coming off one of the other pathways and asked if they had seen any snakes. The guy held up two fingers. So with that we got in the car and headed to the next place the lady  had mentioned...Cave-in-Rock IL. 

When we got to the town we saw the Ohio River and the entrance to the car ferry over to KY. She had mentioned it was free and the ferry was there on that side about to load so we drove on. 

It was fun being on the Ohio for the short five minute ride to the other side. When we exited the ferry we just turned around and got on and rode back across. Again, it was free so we did it just for the fun of it. 
I love this pic of the kids. I caught them laughing after they both had gone to put up bunny ears on each other when I asked them to pose for a pic:)
After the ride we drove over to the Cave in Rock state park which was just down from the ferry on the river. We didn't know if there was really a cave but we saw some people sitting at the playground and asked them and sure enough, there is a cave in rock there! Ha ha
First a spin on the vintage merry go round. You don't see this old fun playground equipment any more. 
After that we walked up to the place which was just over the hill up from the parking lot. 

And here's the cave...
 It was sort of damp and very cool.

This is a pretty good shot of the cave. 

We thought this pic looked like Paul is at the empty tomb on Easter!
After a very quick stint at spelunking we headed back to the cabin. 

Paul built a fire and we had hot dogs and s'mores. It was a very nice night and we all enjoyed sitting around the campfire. The place provided the chairs and free wood so that was a nice touch. 

This morning we had coffee and cereal and took Peach out for a little trek around the grounds. Then we packed up and  headed out to try and find a couple more trails and sights. 

We looked for Burden Falls and due to poor signage we don't know of this was it or not but this is all we found. Mallory said it was a burden trying to find the place. :)

We did spot Big Foot though...

On the way home we went through Metropolis  IL so we could see the big Superman statue. That was pretty neat. 
We all got a pic with him of course. And notice the concrete superman logo at the base. Neat. 
There is a superman museum and store right near by but we just took a couple more pix and headed home across the river to Paducah and got a sandwich at Kirchoff's Deli downtown. It was very good. 

I had a wonderful Mother's Day and fantastic time exploring with the kids and Paul. So thankful for my children and Paul and the memories made. 

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