“NOT on The Shot List” — 5* Pix






Total Shots taken 383
Number Acceptable for Future activity 30
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 21 (5.5 %)

A helping hand to cross the puddle.  Knee high boots that were the envy of all other hikers.   A wet log, a tumble, a broken ankle. Injured dog receiving first aid.  None of these were on my “shot list” at Starved Rock, but they all made for great images.

The caller ID read area code 815. A voice I didn’t recognize said, “Hi, I’m calling from Starved Rock, about the hike you you’re registered for tomorrow. We just wanted to let you know that we’ve had lots of rain here and storm damage. The trails you were scheduled to go on are closed. We will be going on an alternative route, and it will probably be quite muddy. If you still want to come, you may want to wear boots.”

A quiet warning that still did not prepare us for what we encountered –puddles, deep puddles, wide puddles, and more puddles. Downed trees. Huge branches across paths.   Upturned roots. Branches in puddles. All this made for wet, treacherous, hiking. And at each encounter, a decision: Go around? Go through? Step on or over the downed tree? Go up a hill? Make a new path?   The result? These, totally unplanned, not-on-the-shot-list 5* selections:


  • Gentlemen Hike –– Chivalry is not dead, even while hiking. In truth, I suppose it isn’t really just chivalry – helping each other navigate the puddles was a safety issue. We probably all needed walking sticks, of which we only had two to share among the five of us.
  • Boot Envy: Wearing knee high boots on a bright sunny day may not seem like the thing to do – in fact, my friend thought her boots were overkill — but it turns out they were just perfect. Time and time again, people looked at those boots with envy – wishing they had boots, rather than the athletic shoes most wore (which at this point were quite wet and muddy!). These boots became the “star” of the hike.
  • After The Fall: At one particularly wide and deep puddle, this group went thru the puddle, stepping on the tree. Unhappily, the lady in pink slipped and fell into the water, emerging drenched and injured. While her friends comforted her, I kept moving around, trying to find an interesting but revealing photographic angle (Not to worry, our guide provided some immediate first aid). I ultimately ended up with this shot where you could see their images reflected on the water.
  • Relieving the Pain in the Paw: – Injuries can abound in slippery situations, and man’s best friend may not be immune to getting hurt. Such was the case with this dog, who is being tended to by its owners while the EMT looks on.


For some of the images that WERE on my “shot list” see my other posts about Starved Rock State Park. I hope you enjoy these totally unexpected 5* selections!

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