To say all is sweetness and light regardless of what’s happening, one must not recognize the various needs, miseries and tragedies in this world.
Having said that, I am writing this on my little netbook which has perhaps an hour of battery life left in it from atop a ridge where my father-in-law Curt and I are camped in an old, sweet rv loaned us by dear friends.
The wood fire I made of blow-down pine and other limbs is burning well.
We are both sitting (he sleeping at the moment) in long folding chairs that one can lay almost flat in.
Over the past few days it has been a bit cold, and in that we chose the cheap route- really cheap- we didn’t bother with water or electricity.
Now, no big martyrdom here as we selected the best spot on the Apple River Canyon campground in both our opinions. It is within 20 yards of the toilet. Not flush but clean and fine. About 30 yards in the other direction from our campsite is a working well with excellent water. So we have all we need, bringing food from home and the joy of spending time in the woods camping, hiking and enjoying God’s creation.
Both our lives are full, mine gets extremely so mid-April to early November with concerts, speaking and so forth. A lot of travel, thankfully much I can do with Wendi these days. But it’s such a treat to get out in nature for a few days and just hike, rest and recharge.
I brought a few little flashlights, made a candle in a can thingee, and we have the campfire. Hikes and wood gathering/chopping keep me in exercise.
Also brought a “sail”, triangular sun/rain shade we roped off from trees over our fire pit and near the picnic table at our campsite. The rv has a propane stove so making hot tea and doing light cooking is simple.
It has been a bit rainy and as I say, just a little cold the past couple nights so we both dress in layers for sleeping, I have 2 pair of socks on and am quite cozy with my pair of 3 dollar yard sale waterproof boots.
I started reading a book about 18 years ago on the history of the Illinois river written by (in my estimation) a genius author named James Gray in 1940. I’d gotten about 4 chapters through and never got back to it due to busy and busier times! So I’ve really enjoyed reading it over the past few nights.
The first evening here we walked slowly down the trail right below our camp which is high above the river. I got no more than 40 yards down the path when I saw two full-grown eagles in the tree tops. We watched them for a couple minutes. Beautiful, impressive birds! Then I continued down the path.
Been a little amazed that I haven’t seen any deer but have seen eagles, hawks, beautiful red cardinals and any number of wonderful wildflowers. The river is super clear and holds a number of species including trout.
Fishing is in my nature but our stay is just short enough I decided to skip it this time around.
Nice workout finding, chopping wood, hiking and then resting. Hearing the crows call out and until today, being the only people in the campground… peaceful.
Last night I built a one string (diddley bow) slide guitar by the fire. I’ll finish the last touches on that today, then I think I’ll build another, likely nylon string diddley using a small coffee can I brought up as a resonator. Nylon strings can work with toothpicks acting as frets… and I brought some glue so… we’ll see 🙂
Today we each hiked in different directions and took loads of pictures, some of which you see here.
I went far up a trail, on the other side of the canyon. Moving down and closer to the river was a treat. Beautiful wildflowers, the river itself so very pretty, limestone canyon walls up the cliffs, little caves I imagine foxes would love, the water flowing over rocks, a pool here and there, high tree-lined ridges on both sides of the river.
Near the end of that trail 5 geese were resting right in the middle of the water just above a small rock-covered sandbar. I tried to move slowly, non-threateningly so they let me get just close enough for a few pictures before I apparently bothered them too much. Three few off, the two older ones remained.
As I backtracked nearing the cliff walls above me I got some pics I’ll be excited to show Wendi.
On another trail to get a few last shots above the river I came across a bird feather. Perhaps it will end up on one of these little guitars I’ve built.
So it’s nearly time for supper and I need to get working while we have another 4 hours of daylight.
Consider this my super boring (or cool depending on your view of the outdoors and camping) blog for the year! 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn
Apple River Canyon State Park (Illinois)