“I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore…”
“I hear it in the deep heart’s core”
William Butler Yeats (The Lake Isle of Innisfree, 1888)
Stunning Lake Glendale, IL. A hidden gem indeed
Although Yeats’ poem was inspired by the sound of a fountain in a shop-window on Fleet Street, London his thoughts were turned towards the utopia of lake water. Lakes do seem to hold a special draw, and a very unique sense of peace that speak to our souls, so I get where this poem comes from.
As we’ve travelled down through the Mid-West we’ve been astonished at the number of lakes, some large, stoic and imposing, others little hidden gems with their own microcosm of life and weather. Each body of water seems to speak with her own personality and her own expression, and if you take the time to walk along the shore and listen you can sink into step with the rhythm of life that surrounds it.
A dragonfly catches the last rays of sun on the lake
In the early morning the lake catches the sun and bakes off the moisture of dawn in a mysterious mist. In the evening she reflects the last rays with a deep blue sigh before she goes to rest. She’s ever-changing yet ever a true reflection of ourselves.
Yeah, I totally get the lake and soul thing….
Posted in General Musings & Travel Tales, IL
Tagged dragonfly, IL, Illinois, lake, Lake Glendale, midwest, Shawn, Shawnee, water, Yeats
Garden of the Gods, IL
There are times in life when everything seems to come together of its own accord. In those moments, a unique confluence of accidents blend together like the best of martini’s into the most sumptuous of experiences.
That really sums up our Labor Day Week-end.
Being somewhat out of touch with regular time we’d completely forgotten about the big holiday week-end and so had failed to plan on any reserved campsite. Paul had randomly chosen a spot on the map which looked somewhat interesting, being green and next to a small lake and sufficiently “out there” to satisfy our nomadic souls. Through complete chance Shawnee forest was a non-reservation campsite, and by total accident they had a large and gorgeously shaded electric site available the Friday morning of the week-end we drove lazily into camp. With that all settled we inquired on things to do and were made privy to Garden of the Gods which certainly sounded like an auspicious must-see.
Bizarre and voluptuous rock
Thus, the two tourists from the land of fruits and nuts made our way into deep Illinois to blend with the locals. Like all things in the Mid-West, Garden of the Gods is one of those happy surprises that only those in the know, know. The bulbous, goblin-like rocks in this little forest clearing are the remnants of an ancient sea-bed 320 million years ago. Heat and pressure turned sand into stone, and a receding sea and the elements sculpted the rest. Dark swirls of ancient iron, called liesegang bands decorate the surfaces giving the impression of rather voluptuous, but wrinkled curves.
From the ancient sea-beds to hidden lakes, I love it when a non-made plan comes together.
View over Shawnee forest
Paul and 320 million years of history
A Midwest beach all to ourselves
There’s many things you expect to see and do when you get to the wide Mid-West. More corn is grown here than anywhere else in the world, cattle graze the open fields and a quick “hello” to a stranger usually opens up into a half-hour chat and ends with “you nice folks all come on back now and visit again” . The weather is temperamental ranging from below-freezing in winter to hot, humid and buggy in summer. In fact, bugs are such a regular part of life that the local weather channel has a daily ”mosquito rating” right next to the high and low temps, quite a thing for a blood-sucking magnet such as myself.
Rend Lake, IL reflects an on-coming storm
All these things you expect, but then as with all places, there’s the little jewels that surprise you. The Mid-West as it turns out, is abundant in lakes. There’s of course the big 3 (The Great Lakes), but also thousands of smaller gems thanks to several major water-ways that snake their way across the central states. This not only spawns sailing enthusiasts, but also brings out kayakers, canoers and beach-lovers. And the beauty of it is, you’re more than likely to have the place to yourself. So, we’ve been bumming it on the beach in Rend Lake IL, relaxing on the shores of Lake Glendale IL and are about to head off and drink our next sundowner by Kentucky Lake. It’s the Mediterranean of middle-America, and with luxury like this, I reckon we might well be back.
Posted in General Musings & Travel Tales, IL
Tagged beach, IL, Illinois, Kentucky Lake, Lake Glendale, lakes, Mid-West, midwest, Rend Lake, swimming, vacation