What a wonderful weather day we had to have our picnic event at Starved Rock! Several members stated when they drive down I-39 to Roanoke, they had seen the Starved Rock signs but never took the time to go there with their family. At the end of the day, several of those members said this was a great event and they now know what's at Starved Rock.
There were about 106 people who attended our picnic event. Several vipers started arriving about 8:45 for the 9:00a.m. trolley tour. As about 47 people boarded the trolleys, another group of vipers arrived to have a delicious Brunch in the Starved Rock Lodge. We now had a Viper rainbow of colors in the parking lot which drew much attention from others visitors at Starved Rock!
During the trolley tour we learned about the history of how Starved Rock started and how many Indians lived on the land first. Starved rock sits along the southside of the Illinois River. The tree covered, sandstone bluffs and 18 canyons were formed by glacial melt-water and stream erosion. We learned there was a great battle among the Indian tribes. The Illinois tribe, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the Illinois tribe died of starvation because they couldn't get off of the great rock without being killed. Thus the name Starved Rock.
Last year the park had over 2 million visitors and our trolley guide told us they are within 100,000 of meeting that mark again this year.
Everyone enjoyed the Brunch that was available in between trolley tours. After Brunch, the raffle prizes were handed out, all in picnic theme. Then some enjoyed a guided hike by the Visitor Center and others just wondered the trails. The air was cool and breezy so no mosquitos nipping at anyone! Then in the afternoon canyon boat tours were taken by about 60 people. The host on the boat told us some stories about the park and the shoreline as we cruised by. We saw a baby Eagle and several other water birds, plus because it's the Illinois River, the pontoon boat was hit by a couple of the Asian Carp! We waved at visitors on the rocks and continued down the river for a leisurely cruise.
We received several comments on how this was a great venue and how they enjoyed the day at Starved Rock. Another memorable event made possible by our generous sponsors for our Viper family!