Hike to a Bluff Overlooking the East Fork of the Illinois Bayou
  The lack of water in creeks and rivers makes bluff hiking my best choice during these dryer times. A bluff line near the East Fork of the Illinois Bayou off Hwy 27 was my focus for this week's exploration. Breakfast was, once again, at Denny's in Russellville. At 5:20 a.m. the walk began on the Hwy heading north and soon turned into the woods and down into the the valley. The temp was 52°. Upper and lower bluff lines were reconnoitered and by 6:30 my main target bluff on the lower shelf was arrived at. Fog was a problem for viewing the valley as dawn invaded the darkness, rendering it invalid. The fog was fine to see for a while but it never did rise above the valley and before long it grew tiresome. The remainder of bluff line was followed to the southeast and eventually my path returned to the paved surface provided by the State Department of Rural Highway and Road Maintenance. Exit time was 9:15 with a temp near 60°. The distance travelled was a measly 2.5 miles. Some fall colors were witnessed in their splendor but he extent of this was minimal. This is an interesting area but the fog prevented my realizing its full potential. For all I know the valley could have been a horrendous mess of clear cuts and gas wells...but I doubt this. A couple of 4-wheelers with redneck voices were heard passing by in the valley below. The fog shrouded them but my skunk bazooka proved accurate in providing each of them with the appropriate ordinance for their pleasure.

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