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Starved Rock Lodge

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(Kathy Casstevens-Jasiek photo)

Starved Rock Lodge: Could You Stand a Few Days With No Cell Phone?

By Kathy Casstevens-Jasiek,
Marketing Director, Starved Rock Lodge

Fall 2010

As we see the horizon of 2011 coming our way at lightning speed, most of us long to make the days last longer and somehow eek more experiences out of each day. Yet we have to check voicemail, e-mail, U.S. mail, and attend to the long list of duties at home and at work. Before you know it, another day or week has gone by and we wonder where the year went! Did you know that, this year, daylight savings time doesn’t end until Saturday, Nov. 7?  Congratulations. You have a few more hours of daylight than you thought, so make the most of it!

If you combine your desire for a restful getaway with your need to be “wowed,” consider this: You could hike to one of the 18 canyons at Starved Rock State Park and you could leave your cell phone behind or turn it off. You could join the MegaHike on Sept. 25th or 26th and walk to all the canyons in the park in just one day. This is a 13.4-mile hike, so it it’s not just a walk in the park. However, it will be an experience, and you will be surrounded by the beauty of autumn and the awesome Illinois River as it meanders through this unexpectedly beautiful part of LaSalle County.
Your guides would be natives of the Illinois Valley. They hike the park every week and are prepared to share interesting stories and statistics about it, such as the fact that more than 2 million visitors came here last year; that  Hopewellian, Mississippian, and Woodland Native American cultures once thrived here; and that humans lived here as early as 8000 B.C.

Depending on the amount of rainfall, you may see sparkling waterfalls or trickling streams. There are 2,816 acres of forests, cliffs, canyons and streams to explore. The change of seasons is a treat for the senses. As you feel the crunch of leaves below your feet, the last smells of summer still linger in the air. The taste of a refreshing drink of water is a reminder of how simple life can be. And, if all goes well, you’re not texting or talking on a cell phone! It’s not that cell phones are bad; it’s just that we often need a vacation from the responsibility of answering them.

So, before you plan your therapeutic getaway, consider drafting a plan to find someone who can answer your phone, feed your dog and care for your children, while you take a break. Then, come to a place that you may have visited as a child. Starved Rock became a state park in 1911. Almost 100 years later, life has changed quite a bit, but the human desire to get back to nature is still a part of our genetic codes. Starved Rock Lodge is less crowded during the week and massage therapists are available after your hike. There’s an indoor pool, restaurant and many places to relax and read a book. And, if your Wi-Fi addiction must be met, it’s readily available on-site.

Some special fall events you should know about:
Oct. 9 & 16: Oktoberfest Buffets; Oct. 10: Utica’s BURGOO Festival in downtown Utica; Oct. 16-17: Fall Colors Weekend. October Fall Colors Trolley Tours run all month long.

Nov. 1-2: “Tribute to the Stars” with Neil Diamond; Nov. 15-16: Scrapbooking Event; Nov. 12: Leinenkugel Dinner; Nov. 13: Leinenkugel Pub Crawl to local Utica Bars; Nov. 15: “Tribute to the Stars” Matinee with Patsy Cline; Thanksgiving Buffet (reservations needed).

Dec. 13 & 14: “Legacy Girls” Holiday Show at the Lodge; Dec. 13: “Flutes by the Fire” at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall; Dec. 18: Breakfast with Santa in the Great Hall; Dec. 24 & 25: Christmas Buffets in the main dining room; Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Party at the Rock.

For more information, visit www.starvedrockstatepark.org or www.starvedrocklodge.com. ❚

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