On Saturday we made the decision to depart from Kentucky. As lovely as our time there has been, we were ready for some new scenery and new climbing experiences. We left that morning and despite a lost and found wallet we made it there safe and sound that evening. We opted for a hotel room for our first night and enjoyed a hot shower that lasted more than 8 minutes and a real bed with pillows! For dinner we had BBQ at the 17th Street BBQ in Marion, IL. So delicious!
Sunday we traveled 30 mins. south of Marion to Goreville, IL and we are now delightfully settled and the Ferne Clyffe State Park. It’s a sleepy little place with lots of trails and private campsites and is located near some great climbing spots in the area. Fortunately we visited an outfitter in Carbondale, the Shawnee Trader, and got a lot of tips on where to climb from an employee there.
Today we visited Cedar Bluffs, a nearby climbing and hiking spot. The rock here is still sandstone, but feels very different from the sandstone we experienced in Red River Gorge. It’s very beautiful and much more of what we were expecting of outdoor climbing.
We had to cut our climbing short today as a storm front rolled in. We packed up our gear just as the rain started to fall and now we are borrowing wifi from a McDonald’s in Marion. We will pick up a few groceries and then head back to camp to see how our tent had fared during the onslaught.
Tomorrow we hope to head back to Cedar Bluffs and explore that area further.
Photos: 1. Our home in Illinois for the next few days. 2. Matt at the base of Cedar Bluffs. 3. Africa route at Cedar Bluffs. 4. Storm front.