Hiya all 🙂 Finally getting a chance to post something I’ve had since last week to show you all.
So here goes I’ll share my day with Brian : As you all know I had big crafting plans for Thursday but Brian had wanted us to spend some time together since we were kidless ( rare thing these days ) so off to the park nearby our town we went. This is the place we camp at with the children in the warmer weather It’s a state park so it is fairly large and has a lot to offer the outdoorsy kind of person. A little history ( for you history buffs You know who you are 😉 ) Kickapoo State park : “Once a scarred wasteland ravaged by turn-of-the-century strip-mine operations, Kickapoo State Recreation Area’s 2,842 acres now provide an outdoor playground with something to appeal to every member of the family. Twenty two deep water ponds, ranging in size from 0.2 of an acre to 57 acres, provide a total of 221 acres of water for boaters,canoeists and anglers. Lushly forested uplands and bottomlands along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is habitat for enough birds, wildlife and wildflowers to please any nature lover, while nature trails and running trails provide pathways to inspiration and physical fitness. If you want a less demanding excursion in the outdoors, there are facilities for camping and picnicking.
Kickapoo owes its crystal clear ponds and luxuriantly forested ridges and hillsides to the regenerative powers of nature. Nearly a century of coal production using strip-mining techniques devastated the landscape. But during the past 50 years, trees and vegetation have gradually reclaimed naked ridges of subsoil, and stagnant mine ponds gradually have cleared.
The park apparently was the first in the nation built on strip-mined land, and one of the first to be subsidized through public contributions. The state’s initial purchase of 1,290 acres of mined lands from United Electric Coal Co. in 1939 was largely underwritten with contributions collected from Danville area residents. this in bold copied from this website www.stateparks.com/kickapoo any way there is more to read on this park which is very interesting . Danville, Illinois, is the birthplace of modern strip mining. In fact , the steam-powered coal shovel was invented by two Danville men, the Hartshorn brothers. These shovels, which revolutionized strip mining, were first put into use in Danville in 1911. According the Illinois DNR, 30 million tons of coal were mined from Vermilion county since the 1800’s.My home town and birthplace is very small but has a very very rich history My Brian the real history buff at our place can tell you all kinds of local history stuff. I can tell you all more if you want me to know just let me know. ( Lynn , that is why I asked about your war medal something like that would be right up Brian’s alley researching to find the owner, he has been quite successful in getting things back to their original families. Makes him feel good that stuff is back where it belongs . ) anyways back to this post so with much ado about my hike here are the photos :
Now here is the mine no. 6 entrance My kids love to come here and go through the rocks in search of treasure and indian beads 🙂 We hike up and around the pond and you can fish if you like to .
Well we hiked for an hour or two It was pretty chilly since the cold front was moving in and the rain clouds were pushing in behind it BRRRR it was getting windy anyway I asked Brian if I could get a few photos of a large tree near the road where the beavers had been busy trying to chew it down I gotta say this is a big tree probably at least 50 feet tall and not so near the beaver dam so I don’t know how they were gonna get it to where it needed to be But as you sill see that didn’t stop them.
This next one they were successful in toppling over and across the road I guess they wanted to keep everyone out. Looks like the park rangers took care of clearing the road But still amazing to me that they chewed this tree down I can’t imagine how ling it took the busy little critters.
Finally a shot of all their hard work here you can see the top of the Beaver Dam Super amazing to me since I know this pond is one of the deep ones they do some scuba training in here we’ve seen . Wonder what the beavers think of the divers????
So now on the way home before the kiddies show up we come upon a bunch of wild turkeys crossing the road , until a few years ago we never seen them now we have been able to a couple of times this year a lot of neat wildlife around here.
A few back the Governor ( you may have heard of him Blagojevich) attempted to close this and many other state parks but because of public outcry and the resourcefulness of an area student lobbying to save Kickapoo it was spared the ax and gratefully we are still able to enjoy all it has to offer our state. Leslie you would have driven right through it on highway 74 just east of my town exit the highway has bridges right through one of the larger ponds. We have canoed under 74 many times with the family. Hope you all enjoyed my little adventure I had a great day getting to hike, spend time alone with my Honey and do some card making What more could I ask for 🙂
The photos seem mixed up again I’ve been inserting them with the hopes that they would follow the day but I don’t seem to be getting it right. Hope you all can follow along ok 🙂 I’m getting tired but feeling much better than earlier in the day. Wow this Flu has sure kicked my hiney hard !!!! hope none of you catch it
Until later ,
Love and hugs to you all,