Sunday, July 31, 2016


Currently in Houghton MI (Low 56 Partly Sunny High 78) 

Catching up on our recent stay in North Utica Illinois. The day after visiting Bob's aunt and cousins we had a little time since we were meeting Jo's nephew later in the day. We sometimes forget that some people still work. So we took the opportunity to do some unplanned sightseeing.

First of all of course we had to eat. We had heard good things about Nonie's Bakery and Cafe in North Utica Illinois and it turns out we heard right. Jo had the cranberry walnut french toast with bacon. Bob had the biscuits and gravy with eggs and he added sausage. Everything was wonderful. The bread is fresh baked there. The sausage is ground there. Most everything is made there and is fresh. If we ever are in the area we will be back.

About half way thru the meal we decided it was blog worthy so we took a photo.

After we had finished eating we commented that it was a little cooler than the previous days so we thought we would take cousin Jim's advice and see Starved Rock State Park. Here is Starved Rock from across the Illinois River.

We walked around a little in the park and decided we would try to walk to the top of Starved Rock. But for that we would need water, the unplanned nature of this day, which we thought we could buy from one of the vending machines. First the vending machine wouldn't take any of our dollar bills so we went and got quarters. When I told the cashier the vending machine wasn't taking dollars bills she didn't seem that interested. The good news is that the machine took quarters, the bad news is that it took only one and that one jammed.

Since it was getting hotter and we didn't want to walk without water we decided to head to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center across the river which is where we got the picture above. We found out about the I and M canal that was built in the early 1800s connecting Illinois and Michigan that was a boon to the commerce in that time frame.

We then walked outside and got a picture of the dam 

and the lock. 

We had just missed a barge going through which would have neat. We were surprised to see white pelicans on the river and flying overhead. We did get a picture of one of them overhead.

Starved Rock State Park is worth another visit as it is full of waterfalls and canyons. Here is an example from the web.

Definitely on our list to see next time in the area when we have water with us, along with Nonie's Bakery and Cafe.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


  1. The State park looks lovey. I love water falls.
    Continue to enjoy your visits with family and friends.

  2. We've had to cancel a couple of outings cause we didn't have water with us. I'm really trying to do better. The No Sweat Cafe in Helena also makes their food on site. Except the fabulous bread. They get that from Great Harvest so we had to make sure we stopped there. Honey whole wheat and cinnamon swirl. Soooo good.