Remember making a New Year’s Resolution? That was 3 months ago! Perhaps you were able to lose weight, gain new friends or fulfill your dream to travel. Here we are at the end of the first quarter of 2023— and spring is in the air. In Illinois, temperatures are still cold enough to see your breath at times, but then, nature will surprise you with a 70 degree day filled with sunshine! Here at the Lodge, we try to get out on the trails and see what’s new as we take in the beauty of the season upon us. Our General Manager, Abby Farrell summed it up best when she said, “Things aren’t always as they appear…Spring is right in front of us but we can’t see it…yet.” Abby, our new Digital Media Coordinator and I (Kathy Casstevens, Marketing Manager) went for a spring hike to the east side of Starved Rock State Park. The park was quiet, except for the sounds of the wind and waterfalls. It was Holly’s first time to see Wildcat Canyon, Lover’s Leap and Eagle Cliff. We talked about many things along the way. We looked for any signs of spring flowers but only the ferns were green enough to notice them. We all know that Dutchman’s Breeches, Hepatica and Virginia Bluebells will soon blossom and change the landscape of this amazing place. Each year, the piles of dead leaves give way to new beginnings. We talked about how your attitude can be much the same. It often seems like you put in weeks or months of creating something or working toward a goal and right before it’s about to be a reality, you find yourself losing hope. But, the forest has many lessons to share and the arrival of spring is a perfect example. Colorful flowers are right beneath the bed of leaves—ready and waiting to burst into bloom.
Since this was Holly Marsh’s first hike to see the interior views of Wildcat Canyon and the panoramic views from the top of Eagle Cliff, I was eager to hear her assessment of our adventure. “It was unexpected and surprising to see such a variety in one place,” said Holly, “I’ve been to other state and national parks where it’s just hiking, but Starved Rock is unique because you get to see the Illinois River and then climb a few steps and see the view from above right after you’ve hike into a sandstone canyon to see a waterfall!” Holly is right. In addition to the change of seasons offering an ever-changing display of wonder, the feeling of being grounded as you walk along the forest floor is a refreshing one.
We captured many beautiful photos and made a video to sum up our morning trek (click here to watch it). We all agreed that we are fortunate to work at such a wonderful place. Our hiring promotions are now underway for our busy season. We love welcoming new members to our team, especially people who love the hospitality industry. Starved Rock Lodge is an experience where you get experience. Day after day we find that there’s always something new to see and do. So, it’s never boring.