Illinois Beach State Park is the only state park in Illinois on the lake shore. We hiked South from the resort along the beach. The sand is soft and the stones by waters edge are round.
We were looking for critters. Etta found a rusty crayfish with blue claws, a rabbit skull, a gull’s wing, and some good rocks. I wore her poncho with native american pattens over my cowboy shirt- I forgot to bring a jacket.
About a mile down the beach the sun started to set and we dipped into the dunes. Families of deer turned up their white tails and ran. We walked down a path towards a water hole towards more deer. To our surprise a baby deer approached us, coming as far as the water hole. The frogs were loud.
The citizens of Illinois made a mistake in the seventies by installing the nuclear power station just North of the state park. Thankfully the plant was retired in 1998 and its operating license expires this year, November 14, 2013. Decontamination and dismantlement are to begin after this date.
The state park is going to be back to its more natural self by December 31, 2026- by then the nuclear power plant will be history. It’s a lesson powerful enough to make the ciizens of Massachusetts seem righteously foresighted regarding their refusal to allow windmills built into the ocean off Cape Cod.