A Visit to Pere Marquette State Park

Today we received a reprieve from the rain that has been soaking the area, so we decided we were going to make the most of the blue skies and take in some of Illinois’ fall colors.  After much debate, we settled on going to Pere Marquette State Park by way of Alton, IL so we could purchase a couple cool mugs first.

The day started with us meeting up with my Aunt Jan in Alton so she could show us around Mississippi Mud (she is friends with the owners, and a faithful patron),  followed by a tasty pizza lunch before making our way up to Grafton via the Great River Road.  The drive was very scenic, with golden trees lining the road.  Combine that with the deep blue sky and you just couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Once in the park, we spent quite some time driving the Scenic Drive, stopping to take in the great views and let David run around.

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At one of the stops we came upon what may be the brightest, most vivid tree in the park.  It was just soaking up the sun and the colors almost didn’t look real.

 

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After the drive, we got out and went on David’s first Hike.  We decided to take a short one (.5 miles), but it was labelled moderate difficulty – something that didn’t slow David down much at all.  His little legs finally gave out just past the 1/4 mile mark, but he did all the uphill by himself!  Here he is approaching a set of steps.

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One thing we noticed, and was a little bit of a letdown, was that there wasn’t a whole lot of color.  There were plenty of yellow and orange, but not the deep reds that we have around here.

 

Great day, lots of fun.  More photos in the gallery.

To the Zoo!

Given the final arrival of spring (or did we just skip to early summer?), we decided to take a day trip to the St. Louis Zoo.  So after eating breakfast, we loaded up the van and headed south.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by quite a bit of traffic in Forrest Park and lots of zoo-goers.  Not too surprising for such a nice day, but it still felt like parking at the Arch would have been closer.

David got to get up close and personal with a few of the animals, starting off with a few monkeys.  Good thing that glass was there – that monkey would have been missing a handful of hair if not.

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After that encounter, he was on the lookout for animals!

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We had lots of fun, and look forward to going back.  In fact, we purchased a family membership – so we WILL be going back.   More photos available.