starved rock and my healthkit app

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here in Illinois that my walk took me to… Starved Rock State Park.

As we drove to the Park, I couldn’t help but wonder how the Park got its name. As it turns out, according to Native American legend, two tribes were having a council meeting in the area. Allegedly, one of the Chiefs stabbed another Chief and a great vengeance began. The two tribes battled, with one tribe finally taking refuge on the rock. After many days, the refugee tribe died of starvation and hence the name of the Park.

The scenery in the Park includes views of the south branch of the Illinois River, a waterfall, canyons, bluffs and some crested buttes. Located about an hour and a half from Chicago, the short trail system includes unique rock formations that make it hard to believe you are in the flatlands of Illinois. On this particular day the Park was very crowded, it seemed as if everyone in Illinois was taking advantage of the nice weather.

I decided this was a good time to demo the new HealthKit app on my phone. The  app contains a barometer chip which can measure stair climbing. Starved Rock is loaded with staircases, in fact, by the end, the park was reminding me of an M.C.Escher drawing I saw in college – there are up and down staircases everywhere. They curve and turn and it’s easy to loose your sense of direction. The stairs protect the soft sandstone trails from wear and tear, they also make descending and climbing in the potentially slippery environment much safer. Imagine this picture set in nature, with lots of families moving up and down the stairs!

After about an hour and a half hiking through the Park here is my data – I climbed the equivalent of 28 floors, and completed 9000 steps, burned 230 calories in about 3 miles of walking. On a day when it was impossible to measure speed, because of picture taking and an abundance of walkers, this was fun information for me to collect. I like that my phone just measures, without me turning it on.

Here are some pictures…

To the top.
To the top.
Stairway up to Starved Rock
Stairway up to Starved Rock
The view of the Illinois River - from the top of Starved Rock.
The view of the Illinois River – from the top of Starved Rock.
Path below the visitor's center.
Path below the visitor’s center.
Canyon sign.
Canyon sign.
Entryway to the canyons.
Entryway to the canyons.
A bluff overlooking Aurora canyon.
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