Mind Trails

A long time ago, I have mentioned paths as a landscape paradigm. Today, using pictures I recently too at the Giant City State Park in Illinois, we vary the paths to mind trails.

DSC 1766

Above is the clear trail: It has stepping stones, and walls on both sides, to prevent is from erring, and for support. There is no doubt, we will walk this path, even if it leads us into darkness. Of different character is the doubtful trail: There, behind these trees, is there really a way for us to walk?

DSC 1781

Equally disturbing is the desperate trail which we seek when looking for an exit. We might follow any temptation, regardless where it leads.

DSC 1768

Then there is the blocked trail. It leaves us options: Crawl through, remove the obstacle, go around. That’s not too bad.

DSC 1786

More problematic is the doubtful trail, that looks like it might continue, but we won’t know until we try.

DSC 1742

Finally, the most terrifying of all, is the fateful trail, created by the blood of the giants that died gigaennia ago in this ancient city, without choice, leaving trails on the walls.


DSC 1774


After Dark (Southern Illinois IV)

DSC 3464

The trails at the Giant City State Park close at dusk. The reason seems obvious: You could get lost, fall off a cliff, and die.

DSC 3381

The truth is more sinister. After sunset, the innocent looking gnomes go into hiding, and from the rocks the true owners of the place emerge.

DSC 3388

These two above still have humanoid features, but you start wondering whether there are other nameless horrors here. Death by falling off a cliff might have been a merciful alternative.

DSC 3386

I am sure Howard Phillips Lovecraft would have found inspiration here.

DSC 3416

Inside (Southern Illinois III)

DSC 3403

The Giant City State Park has its name because of the sandstone that has eroded into blocks (houses), separated by streets. After walking around last time, today we enter.

DSC 3421

The whole place is quite spooky, even during daylight, and it is easy to get lost.

DSC 3429

Some paths have exists, fortunately.

DSC 3450

The location of the next two images was most impressive. It looks rather artificial, but not made by humans.

DSC 3460

Who would design something like this where even the trees contort in desperation?

DSC 3463

(to be continued)

Around (Southern Illinois II)

DSC 3511

In the middle of the Midwest, there is the small College town Carbondale. The nearest airport is in St. Louis, two hours away by car, if you survive the trucks that rush towards Chicago. However, it is not just rolling hills and corn fields. There is Giant City State Park, which is not, as I was afraid, another amusement park.

DSC 3508

Instead, it is one of the best hidden gems of the midwest. The numerous trails take you through lush forests and along sandstone cliffs.

DSC 3411

Some of the boulders have a distinctive organic appearance, and you begin to wonder whether they could come alive… Also, everything seems to tilt in unexpected ways.

DSC 3455

Is it that these wall want to keep us out, or keep something inside?

DSC 3458

To be continued…