By Kris Bergren
Our intrepid outings leader, Jerry Neff, chose a beautiful day for a walk in the woods! The drive on IL 84 was beautiful too as we meandered through small towns, drove by weathered cornfields and finally followed the river on the way to Mississippi Palisades State Park. My husband, Stephen and I, met Jerry and his neighbor and fellow hiker, Deb at Look Out Point for a picnic lunch. Why is it a simple piece of fruit and a ordinary sandwich always tastes better when we dine in the out of doors? Then we headed to the official lookout point to view the grandeur of the Mississippi, with sun sparkles reflecting on its muddy brown waters which were in contrast to the intense blue skies and its wide expanse interrupted by islands of dark green trees. Next, it was on to the Sunset Trail, that Jerry had correctly rated moderate to difficult! Hiking on narrow rutted trails and up and down steep stairs, “Watch your step!” was the mantra of the day! The deep wooded path often lined with wild flowers offered shade and beauty as we circled around back to our starting point. Then a quick drive down to the south entrance to take a shorter hike on the Sentinel Trail with views of the limestone rock formations that bring rock climbers to the park. Again, circling back to take a shortcut climbers use, so we could be close to the giant stone towers that many have challenged themselves on, including Jerry…just a few moons ago!
Beautiful autumn weather will not be here for long. I’m so thankful to Jerry for planning another Eagle View Group outing that encouraged us to forget about our weekend chores and take a walk in the woods!
Fellow friends and hikers, Kathryn Allen and Bill Davies were there too! Unfortunately, our paths literally did not cross…this time!