Friday, September 18, 2009

Utica - Part Three - Starved Rock Lodge

top photo courtesy of their website

Starved Rock Lodge has 72 hotel rooms and 22 cabins. There is a Great Hall that is huge, centered around a ginormous stone fireplace. Comfortable furniture is scattered throughout.

There is a dining room on one end, and an open cafe on the veranda with scenic overlooks.

We have been to Starved Rock several times. This time we decided to take the walking tour of the "Art in the Park", the largest collection of chain saw art in Illinois - 30 in fact! We picked up a brochure in the lobby of the lodge. Jim was happy because he now had a mission. It was funny because some where hidden in plain sight. Especially when one was noted to be in the restaurant. I went in there and asked the young lady where the chain saw carving was located. She was polite enough not to say, "DUH!" first. She just said, "Right here." It was a bear standing BETWEEN us. Oookay. Here's the first photo I took. I didn't crop this one so you can see exactly how close she was standing to it. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked!

Next was the fish located on the veranda. We couldn't find that one, either. Jim thought that it must have been moved. We went back and asked the same young lady. She assured us it was out there. She described the EXACT LOCATION. It was hidden in plain sight. Really. Here it is. And if there weren't people around, I might have gotten up on that bad boy, but alas, I didn't want to scare the little children.

Walking by the gift shop off of the Great Hall, I spied this cap just begging to be modeled. I put it on. What do you think? I thought it would be great if we ever camp "up nor der" in the cold.

This is a really neat carving. Here's the full picture.

And here's a close up so you can see the details.

All of these carvings were made from the dead trees on the property. This one is really cool. The tree trunk was left standing. On the top of the tree trunk is carved an eagle, and eagle's nest, and a fledgling. My photo really doesn't do it justice.

This wood carving is HUGE. It stands about 10 feet tall.

We went into the lobby of the hotel to find some more carvings and to rest my tired feet. Here's a photo of the lobby:

Jim pointed out to me this cute two seater cupboard. I love the way it was painted.

We decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream so we went into the little cafe off of the lobby. They sold many eclectic things there like this:

And these coffee glasses for those coffee drinkers in your life:

And they even sold THIS:

The sign refers to stationary made from animal dung also available at Target.

Another wood carving:

This is a trolley named "Ranger" that can take you around the park and to the neighboring town of La Salle to the I & M canal for a boat ride.

There was a demonstration going on with two chain saw artists working outside by the parking lot. Here's one guy working on a beaver.

The second guy was putting the finishing touches on the eagle with some spray paint.

And finally, here's one of their finished products. Isn't it gorgeous?

Thanks for taking the tour with me to Starved Rock. If you're ever in the area, I'd recommend you stop by for a visit!


otin said...

Those carvings are phenomenal!!! That tall one with the Eagle, especially!!

Betty said...

It seems real fun your tour to Starved Rock. Great pics!
I love yours!
I'm glad you had a wonderful time!

Rae said...

Really nice photos. Love the sunglasses. I sure hope you bought a pair and make sure to wear them with the hat. I like the lodge and the rustic atmosphere. It reminds me of other parks we have visited. Those type of lodge and cabin parks are my very favorite to spend time at. I would rather be there, than in any fancy hotel.

SquirrelQueen said...

The carvings are especially good, it's hard to believe some of those were done with a chainsaw. When I first looked at the tree with the eagle and the nest I thought it was real until I enlarged the photo.

I love the "poo for sale", in Alaska moose "nuggets" are a popular item for the tourist trade.

Sunny said...

Thanks for the great tour! The wood carvings are fabulous. It looks like a really fun place to visit.
Sunny :)

WhisperingWriter said...

Wow, looks like an awesome place.

Those carvings are too cool.

Valerie said...

Pat, the carvings are really good. I loved them all, and the bus! It seems like a smashing place to visit and since I can't get there I was happy to see your photographs.

Allen said...

Those pictures are great, love the carvings. Thanks for a tour. Its so neat to see all the wonderful things that are out there. I am jealous of you, I wish I would just pack up and see the country.


Laura said...

I hope you bought that hat.

Carletta said...

Amazing how guys(gals) can do this kind of handiwork. We have a dead tree stump my Hubs wants to tackle someday.
On a visit to the Smokies we bought a little small bear that sits on our front porch.
I think my favorite here is the one of all the animals together. If that's one log it is very impressive. I like the eagle and nest. I'd love having one like that.
Cool place to visit!
Oh yeah - I'd also like the coffee glasses - cool!