Day Two Hundred Eighty-five

IMG_20131012_141200Great Walk and Picnic

We’ve had a little problem on our Saturday walks. By the time we sleep in and my husband cooks breakfast (a longstanding Saturday tradition), we leave fairly late in the morning for a walk. If we walk close to our home, it works out fine to walk and then come home for lunch. But for walks that are farther from home, we’re often really hungry and somewhat crabby by the time we get home. On one extreme walk, searching for sand hill cranes in Indiana, we ended up stopping for an emergency fast-food lunch on the way home–at 3:30 in the afternoon. I figured out that day, if I didn’t change something, I’d lose my walking partners.

Since we were getting a late start again today and were heading a ways from home, I decided to bring lunch with us and quickly assembled sandwiches, gathered drinks, and washed fruit. It wasn’t until we were halfway to Channahon, Illinois, that I realized in the rush to make lunch, I forgot my camera. My phone would have to do.

We headed to McKinley Woods, a Will County Forest Preserve that borders the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Along here, the I & M Canal Trail runs between the canal and the Des Plaines River with great views of both.

I & MMcKinley WoodsI’ve walked at least ten miles along the I & M Canal, and I noticed that the canal is considerably wider along here. With a couple of great blue herons and a hill full of colorful trees rising on the bank opposite the trail, it was lovely.

IMG_20131012_124953On the other side of the trail, the occasional fishing boat traveled by on the Des Plaines River. We also saw snowy egrets and cormorants take off and land on the river.

After a successful walk with even the rain holding off, we enjoyed our picnic lunch at the Frederick’s Grove Shelter, part of a former Civil Conservation Corps‘ camp from the 1930s. We had not only a timely lunch, but one with a touch of history!

Great day!

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