My Day Trip

Today’s post is by littlejailbird.

Until last fall, I had never been to Banning State Park. I had driven by it dozens of time, because when I head up to my sister’s house, I always turn off 35W and take Highway 23 into town. I didn’t know much about Banning, but when I was looking for a day trip, it seemed to fit my needs perfectly.

First, I wanted a park where I could drive there and back in one day without getting too tired. Second, I wanted a park that didn’t involve driving several back roads, because I knew that I would be driving in the dark due to the shorter fall days and my night vision and sense of direction is bad enough that I would get lost unless I kind of knew where I was going. And third, I wanted a state park because I had a state park sticker and wanted to use it as much as possible to get my money’s worth out of it. Banning fit all of those qualifications. Plus it has a waterfall, which is a big plus in my book.

So, off I went, one sunny morning in October. When I arrived, I stopped at the visitor center to get maps and ask where the best spots were. I was so excited. It seems that often when I go north, I am early for the fall colors and often find myself driving home just a few days before “peak”  and this time I was not too early! I said something about that to the woman at the desk (while trying to not jump and down in excitement) and she shook her head woefully and told me in a discouraging tone, “You’re going to see LOTS of brown out there.” Gee thanks, way to burst my bubble.

Of course, since I drove all the way up there, I figured I better go on the hike anyway even if I would see mostly brown. I drove to the parking area and when I stepped out of the car and looked up, I knew it was going to be a good day (see header photo).

I hiked all the way to the falls and back and shot lots of photos. It was an incredibly beautiful day: that clear, deep blue sky that you only seem to see on autumn days and – surprise! – lots of colorful leaves on the trees. It can be a challenge shooting in bright sunlight, but I was so overcome by the beauty of it all that I just took that in my stride. There was that wonderful northwoods smell in the air – pine trees and dead leaves. Nothing like it! and nothing else invigorates me like that does.


It was getting pretty cool and the sun was going down quickly by the time I was heading back on the trail but the golden evening light only made things more beautiful and the colors more intense. I went home pleasantly tired and very happy and glad that the woman’s prediction of “lots of brown” wasn’t true.


When has someone’s dire predictions not come true for you?

41 thoughts on “My Day Trip”

  1. I don’t have anything interesting to say about the question, but I sure want to say how much I love the images. My favorite: the red leaf.

    I used to spend a lot of time in the fall woods. That smell is unforgettable. I think a large part of it is driven by the decay of bracken ferns. Wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Marvelous photos, ljb. There seems to have been a lot of yellow, not so much brown and with the vivid blue sky, that was just about perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Love the photos LJB. They are stunning. There is nothing like the blue sky of autumn as a backdrop for the colors.

    Unfortunately, my mother had many dire things to say about my prospects in life. I won’t repeat them. The things she said were driven by fear and her own despair.


      1. How do I explain all that happened with two very painful hands. She took a 50 question dementia test and only missed one, name of current president, a man she despises and talks about a lot. They have been unsure for 14 years if she has strokes/TIAs or seizures. Dr thinks seizures, as she always has, and will change treatment. Will order tests.

        Then, after, she told me about a traumatic moment she had two weeks ago. I knew something was wrong but she would not tell me. As we talked she had six major gaps in long term memory, such as not knowing people who she sees regularly and has for years. I did not tell her. But it was a traumatic event, which hit her at her core of being. I am enraged about it, in part because I was there and missed it because I was in a major pain flair-up. Upsets me I was not attentive. I will have to force myself to be alert whenever we are out. But I tell you people put on their honorable faces while being pond scum. The essence was that a mother, father, teen age daughter made an open joke of her because she is old and wears a wig. This was done on a Wednesday evening Lenten service in church. She has no hair as such because they had to ablate her thyroid when she was 14. She was emotionally abused as a child, which is in part the source of her very unhealthy junior high years. Her father constantly put her down and mocked her when he was drunk, which was much of the time. So the mockery she endured two weeks ago awoke all of that at an already emotional time. See my anger is driving me to type. I will confront this family, in the right way, when I am calm.

        Some other things with dr, not worth typing.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Which water photos? Any that show the blur of the water motion: Slow shutter speed, camera on a tripod. The others: look and shoot.


  4. Wonderful photos…I’ve been to Banning more than once, never so beautiful as your photos.

    Dire predication…I was going to write this story for a post sometime, but your question prompts me to tell it briefly today. In February my book club was reading “A River Runs Through It” by Norman McClean. I was hosting, we were to meet on a Sunday afternoon. I thought it would be fun to offer the group the opportunity to ski or snowshoe down my little river. But first I thought I better check it out, so a friend and I and her dog set out through the woods to the river. When we got to the swamp that surrounds the river, she was afraid her Corgi would go through ice and into water and not be able to get out, so she decided to take the dog home. I decided to keep going. It was a beautiful day, crisp and cold, and I was so enjoying the snowshoeing and the day. It was just a short trek to the river from the edge of the woods and I started down a side branch. I went through the ice into the river up to my armpits. I couldn’t get my snowshoes to stop floating to the top in order to get them under me and onto the bottom. So…the thought, the dire prediction went through my mind: “So this is how I’m going to die.”
    Obviously it did not come true. I found a solid something on the side, got myself up and out and back through the woods. Almost home coming back was my friend who got me out of my boots full of water with frozen laces, my polyester/nylon down jacket and nylon ski pants, into the shower, into my bed under 4 layers of blankets, filled me with warm liquids…I never was cold enough to shiver and the adrenalin lasted the rest of the day. And I am very glad my prediction didn’t come true.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. He was old, an emeritus at the U of Chi. The survey of the humanities class had a lecture once a week for the 500 students in various sections. He would occasionally lecture on aspects of literature at a very technical, sort of spacey level. He talked like he wrote. I love the book, love the rambling quality, the hidden undertones, the fact that he asks the reader to assemble meaning from sort of random events. I see the various stories in the book as amounting to a whole. He lectured about this sort of thing in lit. The movie is alright. It was the movie that made my congenially dislike Brad Pitt. I do love that Brenda Blethyn, Vera in the Brit mysteries, plays a pasty dull housewife. Not sure what point Redford is making about that. To think he brought her from England to be dull paste for a few minutes.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. So very glad you didn’t succumb to the cold, Cynthia. What a frightening experience, and a good reminder how everything can change in an instant. As I recall, you had another close encounter with being kicked by a horse. Was that around the same time?


  5. I make dire predictions on a regular basis in psychological evaluations. Most of them predict trouble if certain services aren’t provided, certain steps aren’t taken, or certain changes arent made.


    1. Teachers, especially senior high teachers, are very good at predicting the future for students, especially disaster. Sometimes we are spectacularly wrong, but sadly not often enough.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I had dire predictions about both of my marriages. My first marriage was right out of college and my father didn’t care for my choice because he was a PK. I also had a friend who wasn’t sure we were suited because when we were engaged we didn’t combine our finances and he thought that was strange. My second time around I had more than one friend who didn’t care for my choice. So hopefully if it ever comes up again, and I don’t think it will, if any of you don’t like my choice for a spouse and I’m ignoring you please remind me of today and smack me upside the head.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. As PJ said above, it is Preacher’s Kid. That used to be a particular social type. Nobody has ever explained that to me. Presumably, Preacher’s Kids were more common decades ago. And I assume there were special challenges to being a PK because people would watch you to see if your actions reflected well on your father.

        When I was young I played with two kids whose father was a psychologist at what was then called Iowa State College. Some people in town, suspicious of psychologists, watched those two kids to see if their conduct spoke well of their dad’s knowledge.

        Another social type like that in the 1950s was Army Brat. I’ve never heard that abbreviated to AB. An Army Brat was a kid whose dad was in the military, so the family moved often, which meant the Army Brat was forever coming into schools where he or she had no friends.


    1. My first husband was a lot like my dad except for being creative. My second husband was the extreme opposite of my first. It’s unfortunate by entirely explained by psychology, that we jump from one fire to the opposite.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Upon leaving several of my jobs for new ones, I direly predicted that the companies I was leaving were doomed- not because I was withdrawing my services but because they were poorly managed. Come to think of it, none of them are around anymore.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. OT – Just saw a report that Jimmy Buffet by late summer this year is opening up a retirement community near Daytona, Florida called Latitude Margaritaville. “It’s no joke. The legendary easygoer and soft rocker has partnered with Minto Communities, a housing and development firm based in Florida, to create a set of homes made for those of us aged “55 or better” and rigorously dedicated to doling out margaritas and chill vibes. The first one will open in Daytona, Florida, complete with beachfront access, live entertainment, lap pools, spas and more according to ABC News.”

    “That relaxation won’t come cheap, however. The 7,000 homes being built will reportedly cost $1 billion in total, with individual 2- and 3-bedroom homes in the community going for between “the very low $200,000s to $350,000.”

    Perhaps this is too close close in proximity to Mar-a-Lago for your comfort, and the prices may be a stretch for some of us, but what’s not to like about “Wasting away in Margaritaville”?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I personally cherish the change of seasons here. I can’t imagine getting up day after day with predictably great weather. The change of seasons, for me, generates a whole different set of behaviors. I’d be bored with consistently good weather.

    Liked by 1 person

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