Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cave-In-Rock State Park

It was great to be able to spend Easter with our daughter Melissa and grandson Nathan in St.Louis at the home of my sister Julia and her husband Cal.  Spencer needed to stay back in Carbondale to study, law school is keeping him quite busy.  Unfortunately Nathan was not a happy baby over the Easter week-end, because he was still recovering from his first round of vaccinations.  Not even the quacks from his little duck could get him to smile.  He is now two months old.
John and I chose to explore southern Illinois a bit more yesterday.  The drive was beautiful as the surrounding countryside had many blooming red bud and dogwood trees.  Adding to those colors were the various shades of green on the new leaves which are now coming out on many of the other trees.  Spring just seemed to pop out overnight.  The warmer temperatures are also very welcomed.
We drove first to Cave-In-Rock State Park, which sits on high bluffs overlooking the Ohio River.  Here we were about 15 miles from the Kentucky state line.  The town, Cave-In-Rock, which we drove through before arriving at the park, had a large banner announcing the presence of the cave in the park.  It claimed that the cave was "discovered by a Frenchman in 1729 and used as a hideout for river pirates, robbers, killers, a gang of counterfeiters, shelter for pioneers headed west".  I guess the idea of the banner was to arouse the curiosity of  tourists who happened to be driving through the town. The cave served as a back-drop for a scene in the movie "How The West Was Won".
It is an impressively large cave, however the floor of it is quite muddy and it was difficult for us to dodge the water dripping down from the ceiling.  It did not seem to be a very comfortable shelter!  Maybe it is only that wet during the spring season.  John and I also found the shores of the river outside the cave also quite wet, being more of a clay consistency rather than sand.  We did not spend much more time in this park, as we wanted to travel on further to Rim Rock National Trail, our next destination.

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