Southern Illinois Trip – Garden of the Gods

I’m back!  Last week, Nik, Rand and I ran away!  We spent the week at my parents’ new house and explored the surrounding southern Illinois area.  As I promised, I took a lot of photos!  Here’s the first part of them.

Nik on path

On Monday we drove to the Garden of the Gods area in the Shawnee National Forest.  First we hiked the Observation Trail, which overlooks acres and acres of forest from atop rock bluffs.

Margie and RandPath down

Garden of the Gods

Here and there, Rand tried to jump off the bluffs!  Thankfully, Nik was ready to haul him back from the edge every time.

Rand jumping off the cliff!

Rand about to jump again

Once we finished that trail, we had a little picnic lunch and then went off on a more forested hike.

Lizard-looking rock formation

The rock formations all around us were incredible.

Swirly rock formation

Nik looking up

Little white flowers

We kept hiking along and it started getting more difficult to find the trail.  The map I’d brought along wasn’t very helpful and we didn’t see any more signs after awhile.  We got a bit lost!  So we turned around and headed back the way we came.

Where's the path?

Yellow Flower

Lost?

None of us minded getting lost in the forest –it was a beautiful place and we weren’t really lost, nothing scary!