Last Thursdays Hike photos

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 :

About coal deposits Tells of the mining history

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 .

Mine cars and Mine no. 6 entrance

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.

Tree along the road .Some really busy beavers have been here 🙂

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.Caution Beavers at Work. This one blocked the road til the rangers came to clear the way.

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.

Wild turkey crossing ..... There needs to be a sign 🙂

The Wild Turkeys could be the name of a Rock group whatch think??

 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,

Shelly

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9 thoughts on “Last Thursdays Hike photos

  1. I LOVE this post. As a matter of fact, a few years back (2007) Joe, our son Joseph, and I were in Danville getting trucks bound for Miami. This post is totally awesome. Visiting Danville I thought its claim to fame was Dick Van Dyke and his brother Jerry, and another couple of guys. Learning about the coal industry (which I was unaware of) is fantastic.

    Love the wild turkey photos. I would see them in my travels but unable to get photos of them because they seem to “pop up” out of no where!

    What a fantastic place to hike and spend time with your Brian. Beaver, coal mining relics, hunting for Indian beads, turkeys, lakes. I’m so glad the park remains for you all to enjoy and was not destroyed by some crazy bureaucrat.

    Awesome post!!!
    Love you – Leslie

    • Dick and Jerry Van Dyke, Donald O’Connor, Bobby Short, Gene Hackman, Helen Morgan, and Astronaut Joe Tanner are a few names that called this place home at one time. Of course there is Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Joe Cannon, Al Capone, and many other names that frequented the area quite often as well. At one time Danville was the largest producers of brick in the world!! It is hard to believe, but at one time Danville was larger and more known than Chicago or Indianapolis(of course this was around the mid 1800’s).
      Where did you have to pick up the trucks when you were here?
      Yes the Turkeys are just There and then gone, very quick those birds 🙂
      Hope you are well.
      Love and hugs,
      Shelly

      • Wow!!! That is amazing to learn. Danville being larger and more well known than Chicago or Indianapolis!!! Your area is rich in history! How cool is that?!

        I can’t remember the name of the trucking company we went to west of town. It is a small one, the guy that owns it restores old cars and sells them on eBay. You or Brian MIGHT know who I’m talking about.

        Beautiful area you live in. Had I known you then I would have dropped in on you. Joe and Joseph were driving the trucks out of there and I was just riding at the time.
        Love you – Leslie

  2. What a super place to spend time relaxing. It is marvellous how nature reclaims its own and s glad the beaurocrats didn’t close it – bet someone had his eye on building houses there! We need these types of areas to relax in. Thank you so much for sharing the history and your lovely photos with us. Do you think we could borrow those beavers? It would save us a heck of a lot of work sawing up wood 🙂 The size of tree doesn’t seem to put them off, phenomenal creatures and just love those wild turkeys! Is hunting/shooting allowed there or not? Have to say that I hate the thought of shooting especially as most of what is shot is not eaten but purely for ‘sport’.
    So glad you and Brian had a great time together. Brian and I have something in common then as I love history too – perhaps he ought to bring a metal detector here and try and find the other missing medal:)
    Hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Hi Lynn,
      No hunting is allowed in the Park but in this area there is alot of hunting both gun and bow and arrow. We have many hunted creatures in our area.I don’t think you can hunt Geese here though. My Dad hunted alot when I was a child Icky to me but he sold hides and the meat and used it for income so it wasen’t just sport but I know there are those that just hunt for sport.Kinda just grosses me out though.I am very grateful that I can go to the supermarket and shop or else I may just be a vegatarian. I bet those beavers could really save you some time. I was just amazed at the size of trees they chewed down, I’m wondering how many there were and how long it actually took them, they aren’t large animals,and how would it get to where they want it to be ?? Just amazing 🙂
      Wow Brian would love to hunt for the missing medal, but his favorite part is the researching information I keep telling him he would make a great private detective 🙂 He can read microfilm for hours !! He just reciently had over 500 hand written letters from our area from the late 1800’s Boy he learned alot of new information there. He also found a photo where President Herbert Hoover had been here. Lots of fun for him. I bet you and he could chat for hours 🙂 He love to talk about his history stuff 🙂 Take care.
      Hugs to you,
      Shelly

  3. This is so cool!!! Real history held in the hands. Sounds to me like Lynn and Brian would be an excellent team of researchers and historians. Too bad they are so far apart.

    Never know…..there is no such thing as “coincidence”. Maybe the two of them will put their heads together and come up with some spectacular bit of history that deals with both sides of the world 🙂
    Love you girls

    • I just love the faith Leslie has in me! The UK and America has a lot of common interests, items,information and people travelled back and forth over the centuries and then settled down in either one country or the other.
      I love unravelling mysteries that are locked up in history and the more we know of history the more we will learn of the future except wars 😦 Don’t seem to have learnt a thing there yet!

      Hugs
      Lynn xxx

      • So true Lynn. Brian has had quite a few paper pieces that was tied to bith countries by where ancestors settled. I ahoul get him to start a blog to post his findings but I don’t know that he’s have time to keep up on something like this. He had at one time a land deed from Scotland maybe ?? from the 1700’s a real amazing piece of history and he was able to learn that the way the paper was torn from the top and bottom matched up with the others from the roll of parchment like a long puzzle which proved it’s authentcity. Pretty cool stuff. 🙂 Hope you are well and keeping warm.

        Love to you,
        Shelly

  4. It would be beyond totally cool, if Lynn and Brian had the chance to put their heads together (so to speak) and research a document or something that Brian finds that has relevance to the UK and the US.

    That would be a puzzle I’d enjoy watching unfold, or being put together!!!
    Love you girls – Leslie

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