Thursday, September 15, 2016

Natural Bridge, Canyon, Wine and No Peaches

After the first night on the lamb, we had reservations the next two nights.  Except when we arrived at our camp spot at Giant City State Park, we were right in the middle of the campground.  After some negotiations with the camp host, we found a more secluded spot next to the woods.  (Camp hosts are almost always helpful and accommodating).

First thing Sunday morning, we headed to Pomona Natural Bridge.  We were early and enjoyed solitude as we hiked the short trail to the bridge.  This was the overlook down on the bridge.  Everything was dry, but at the top middle, there is a small waterfall in damper times.  The bridge spans 90 feet and was formed by erosion. 



At this point in our day, we should have headed straight to the wineries.  Instead, we decided to check out the Little Grand Canyon.   However, we failed to read  another site that cautioned this hike when it’s hot. 

We realized we weren’t up for the canyon hike—the one that descends to the bottom, thankfully.  But, we hoped to hike to the “overlook.”  The signage was not clear, so instead of the 3/4 mile to the overlook, we took off for the 4 mile round trip ridge walk hike, which was in the trees without many views.  

It turned hot, we didn’t have water and the mosquitoes were relentless.  Thankfully, we visited with a family who instructed us to step over the chained off area and carefully go out to the edge of the dropoff to see the canyon.  I got this picture by sticking my camera out and blindly snapping a picture.  Later in the day, we were telling the host at a winery about our experience and she said the hike should only be done in the spring and fall. 


So, with the hikes behind us, it was time to hit the wineries.  We especially enjoyed


Pomona Winery is unique in that it only uses fruit other than grapes in its wine.  We are especially fond of the Golden wine.  I am sure the sweetness of this wine varies by the sweetness of the apples each year.  We find it just right.

We visited Alto Vineyard and once again had a fun and generous tasting.  All the vineyards in southern Illinois charge for their tastings—I imagine it will become more common, especially if there is entertainment, which there was at Alto.

We decided maybe just making our way back to the campground and kicking back with our wine and the steaks we had marinating would be a fun ending to the day. 

Then there is my lovely box of peaches.

Well, Dan did ask if I was going to bring them inside the camper.  So, this is all on me because I said, “Oh, I think they will be OK here under the camper.”  Not true—each peach had little teeth and claw marks the next morning.  Our little campground raccoon made a visit. This has happened to me before, you would think I would learn.

Monday morning we got our things together but not before enjoying our coffee and breakfast.  Dan & I enjoyed lunch at a small little restaurant in St Genevieve.  Paul and Janice were ahead of us so we didn’t visit the wineries in the area.  We’ve heard they are very good so that will be next time.  I will end this trip with a picture of a little cartoon that was under our tablecloth in the restaurant.  I don’t know why I think this is so funny….



Anonymous said...

Have you been to Ha Ha Tonka State Park near Columbia, MO

Linda said...

You know, as much as we hang out in Missouri, we have never visited Ha Ha Tonka. We are headed to Missouri in October.....

Anonymous said...

Some interesting geological features there.