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This is a repost of some Livejournal content.

Back in January, Squeaky, Caffeine, and I got back from an emotionally exhausting trip to Texas. It was more so for Caffeine than me, because I got beer that one time during the trip. I still recall that beer as one of the ten most needed beers in beer history.

We made a plan to find time for a trip of just relaxing.

This last weekend, Squeaky, Caffeine, and I went camping at Great River Bluffs State Park. Here are photos.



On the way, we stopped at the Hungry Mouse Drawbridge. We were not eaten.



Though I chose the park we stayed at mostly because it wasn't too far to drive to, it is a good park all on its own. We stayed in site #25, which was just fine. If a person does decide to camp at the park, I would recommend the odd numbered sites over the even numbered sites, though there are advantages to both. The even numbered sites are more level and have less walking distance to the showers, but the odd numbered sites are bigger and more private.

On the way, we stopped briefly at Frontenac State Park, also a very nice park. Here are a few pictures of Frontenac.

Here's a cute little, well worn trail that starts right off the picnic area.



I wonder what that sign says down the trail a ways.

Upon closer inspection...

It says...



Of course, there are many miles of trails that one is encouraged to walk on. There are lots of impressive views, and lots of birds.



Each morning the birds get up at about 7:00AM and have this conversation.

Bird 1: I'M A BIRD AND IT'S AWESOME!
Bird 2: THAT'S SO COOL! I AM ALSO A BIRD!
Bird 3: HEY! ARE YOU BIRDS TALKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT IS TO BE A BIRD! YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW THAT I ALSO ENJOY BEING A BIRD!
Birds 1 & 2: THAT IS SO COOL!
Bird 4: OH WOW! I JUST OVERHEARD YOU TALKING ABOUT BIRD STUFF AND I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT I LOVE DOING BIRD STUFF! WOULD YOU OTHER BIRDS ENJOY DOING SOME BIRD STUFF WITH ME!?
Birds 1 & 2 & 3: FUCK YES! LET'S INVITE OUR OTHER BIRD FRIENDS, TOO! HEY! ARE THERE ANY OTHER BIRDS AROUND WHO ALSO LIKE DOING BIRD STUFF?!!
....

It's much more serene and peaceful than one might think.

While I was making breakfast, a bright cardinal flew through a few times. He chirped and sang, or he just hung around. It's really just lovely.

Even when the birds are not immediately visible, they're always around. Unless it's dark out, one can hear birds. There is no silent moment in between tweets. Many of you are better nature photography people than any of us, but anyway, here are some birds.















We saw a few hikers with very nice, expensive cameras. I expect that the parks along the Mississippi are very popular with nature photographers.

The slideshow version with more photos is at this link. The slideshow includes one photo of a deer carcass (or some other similarly sized mammal). It happens, but I can imagine it might be jarring if it wasn't expected, so there's your warning.

It rained very lightly on Friday, none on Saturday, and only a bit in the morning on Sunday, but by the time the rain had stopped on Sunday, we had decided to see Star Trek instead of looking for more hiking trails.

I would happily go back to that park. There will be more to discover later.
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