Thursday, January 1, 2015

Another year, less blogging than planned.

Another year has gone by and I've blogged less.  I blame Facebook.  I'd blame Twitter except I don't use it as much.  It is just too easy to make a quick blurb or post a quick paragraph.

I wanted to get out and about more, post some cool things going on in the EB and close surrounding area, but it just didn't happen for one reason or another. 

I don't want to be a news reporter.  This wasn't the purpose of this blog.

So, hopefully, this bandwidth will see a little more use in 2015.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Go Take A Hike

Now that nicer weather has slowly inched its way into Central Illinois, I've been itching to go hiking.  I've been a couch potato all winter and out of shape so my hikes haven't been too long and maybe not even considered hiking.  But what is cool is the fact that there are some trails very nearby the East Bluff.

The closest to me are the trails in Glen Oak Park.  They are on the hillside below the park and west of Perry Street.  If you park at the lower park entrance near the intersection of Perry and Abington you will see a paved trail heading into the woods.  It meanders a bit until it takes a sharp right turn over a bridge.  But if you look straight ahead instead of turning right, you will notice a path.  And that path leads to a busted up concrete walkway that will lead you into eras gone by.  It is in nice shape in some places and other places it is sad shape/overgrown/mudslid and non existent.  However, it gets enough use that you can find your way around back there to discover creeks, bridges (at the top of this page is one of them), staircases and some old markers.  These trails rarely make it back to the main park as their final destination is now the new zoo and you wind up at a fence. I would only hike this during dry conditions.  There are several areas that could be treacherous when wet or muddy.

One can meander Springdale Cemetery, but I just find that a bit weird myself.  Do you go to other local cemeteries just to go for a walk?  Probably not.  Yes, I know there is some cool and unique history there, but still......

Next is the new trail extension that is part of the Kellar Branch which starts near Marietta and Prospect in the Heights and ends up at Harvard Street (or you can progress further by somehow getting around a few streets into the north side of Springdale Cemetery to go under US Route150/ War Memorial Drive).  At the end of trail, you can barely see the old railroad bridge that goes over 150/War Drive and now a dirt foot path that is most likely trespassing on City of Peoria property.  Personally I think it is a shame that the powers who are couldn't/wouldn't use this bridge, but they could construct a huge new one over Knoxville - but I digress.  This trail is pretty new and needs some clean up from post construction, recent storms and some litter problems.  It is new and one shouldn't expect miracles from its early inception.  Cool feature right now is the view of the McCluggage Bridge and upper lower Peoria lake.  It is a slow downhill grade east and then uphill coming back.  After you clear the area by the Country Club of Peoria, you wouldn't know you were on the edge of a city.

Just a bit farther away is the well known Forest Park Nature Center.  There are many trails there which have varying degrees of difficulty.  If you are looking for a short walk, it is there.  If you want 6-7 miles, you could hike all of the trails, which most intersect to get a work out.  It is noticeable that the easiest trails are the widest and most used.  That isn't enough?  Cross Forest Park Drive to the start of the Pimiteoui trail which traverses up and down the bluff that follows Prospect Avenue and ends up on Grandview Drive.  I started this trail earlier this year and decided it was best to turn around and go back as my out of shape self might not make it.  At this time of year, there are sweeping views of the Illinois River, areas of prairie grass fields and the Heights water tower reaching towards the sky.

Get out, get some fresh air and exercise.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Just a Heads Up, East Bluffers

Apparently, someone(s) went around the East Bluff Friday night around 9 PM and shot at/through/out at least a dozen car windows of cars parked in the street.  It appears most of the activity occurred between Wisconsin and Knoxville with a smattering around the Glen Oak Park/Springdale Cemetery area.

I don't know if this was reported via the mainstream media or not, nor if any arrests were made or residents made aware.  But in the meantime, heads up.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Feelin' Like The Redheaded Stepchild

So, the park district, city, rails to trails people put up this big, honkin' bridge to get the Kellar Branch of the Rock Island Trail over Knoxville Avenue.  Yet, in my neck of the woods, you have to dodge three lanes of traffic to get across Adams Street and I don't even get a traffic light.  Anyone else find it odd that they abandoned the old rail line WSW of Peoria Heights to run the trail through city streets and Springdale Cemetery (which isn't the purpose of a trail NOT to run on city streets) to avoid the old rail bridge across Route 150/War Memorial.  What, we North Valley/East Bluffers not good enough for bridges and traffic signals?  Meanwhile, the abandoned part of the aforementioned trail looks like hell and will be a weed infested jungle again this summer (if it ever gets here) which is something the city and R2T people whined like little kids not getting their way when Pioneer didn't maintain it to city/R2T people's standards.

Double & Triple Standards, favorites and a lot of back door politics going on IMHO.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What Happened in January?

This is what we KNOW happened in January.  116 things to be exact.  Ok, these aren't just only crimes that happened in the East Bluff, it includes some North Valley incidents, but they occurred in a one mile radius of my Hoodburbian home at the edge of the East Bluff.  Source:  Cyberwatch Crime View which derives its information from Peoria Police and Peoria County Sheriff.  I think I will make this a monthly feature.
Stay safe, folks.

TOTAL  116

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Good Day For A Walk

As we have had somewhat bearable temperatures in Peoria the last few days, I thought I would take a walk.  I figured during half time of the Broncos-Patriots game would be just as good of time as any.  So, I headed over to Le Grande Dame of Peoria's Public Parks...Glen Oak.

I love wandering around here.  The lagoon, the views, the history if you take the unbeaten path.  I would have loved to see this place in its prime which would probably would have been in the 1920-50s.  Since places like this were the entertainment of the day instead of Peyton, X-Box and Facebook, the adventurous would find much stuff to do.

Walked around the lagoon except for the part that is fenced off.  I hope when this new section is done, one can walk completely around it.  Thought I would stop for some winter sun-tanning.

Dang my face looks fat.  No, I didn't put the weight I took off, back on.  I guess I'm a bad selfiephotographer.  Anyway, behind me is the new section around the lagoon that is being built.  It is home to the 1890s Spanish-American War cannon that has sat there for decades.  A view of the lagoon from the parapet behind me:

I wandered around for awhile and was amazed how many like minded people were out taking a stroll on a pleasant (for the middle of winter) day.  Then I decided to wander over to the old bridge.  I don't remember the specifics, but this bridge is rare for some reason.  Either its design, its architect, its significance, how few are left, something, but it is in sad shape.  It had been restored at one time, but supposedly incorrectly.  You can't cross it now.  And if you could, it no longer really goes anywhere as the new zoo almost blocks its exit on one end.

Well, from this view one could take a sharp left, follow the zoo fence and end up on the service road that goes under said bridge.  However, if you took the service road away from the park and went towards the woods and down the hill, you would almost come to the stone bridge that is in the picture at the top of this blog.  Loooong forgotten as is that part of the park which has some cool things.  OK, cool in my book.

So, I headed home after about 45 minutes.  The Broncos held the ball most of the third quarter while I'm sure Peyton Manning changed the play after they got up to the line, so I didn't miss much, but got a nice healthy dose of fresh air.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Since it is "nice" outside....

The last few days I've noticed is the pre-season for lollygagging/meandering/roaming wherever/whenever/however through the streets of the East Bluff.  Screw cars and other vehicles...they'll stop.  Got to get our training in before the real season of nonchalant jaywalking occurs around the first week of April.