Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jan. 5, 2017 Matthiessen Park Dells Area

Best picture of the day!
 Today we met in the Lobby of the Lodge and carpooled to Matthiessen State Park. 24 hikers came today.  We started out at 8 degrees and on the way back to the Lodge the car registered 14 degrees.  We had a bit of snowflakes. 

All meeting up in the parking lot by the fort at Matthiessen State Park

Fort at Matthiessen State Park

Going down.  We will have to come back up these 146 stairs at the end of the hike.

We were the first on the stairs after the snow dusting

Strawberry Rock.  Always worth a photo.

Going down the Lower Dells stairway toward Devil's Paint Box and Cascade Falls

Looking from half way down the stairs to see the front of the group checking out Devil's Paint box.

Devil's Paint box

Looking back towards the cement stairway, (where we just came from)

Rock and ice hopping at its best. Some decided to just stay put.

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

zoomed in photo of Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls from inside the little cave area


Walking out of the Lower dells I found these icicles hanging on.

Nice little waterfall on the way to Lake Falls

This is really hard to comprehend.  I am standing on the bridge at Lake Falls and looking down.

View of Matthiessen Lake


View of Lake Falls

Lake Falls

Our resident Geologist, Joe has probably told me about this design a time a two.  But he didn't come down to the Lower Upper Dells area.  He stayed hiking on the Upper Upper Dells.  Maybe next time.

My favorite waterfall at Matthiessen State Park, Giant's Bathtub

Jack says this is the rock and root island

Another rock and ice hopping challenge

I heard a crack in the ice here.  All made it across ok.

Last waterfall of the day.

I will leave you with this: Somewhere between the start of the hike and the end is the mystery of why we choose to hike.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dec. 29, 2016- Starved Rock, Lover's Leap, Eagles Cliff, Wildcat

Today's hike left the lobby and went to the top of Starved Rock. Next we went up Jacob's ladder to Lover's Leap, Eagles Cliff and then Wildcat Canyon.  It was about 25 degrees and windy. But the sun was shining.  What a great day!

Joe was telling everyone about the plaque that was dedicated for the fort at the top of Starved Rock.  See next photo.

Plaque dedicated the fort that was a the top of Starved Rock.

All these colorful people are listening to Joe's story.  He is telling the group (46) that his mother was here when she was 15 and seen the Civilian Conservation Corps.  He says they most certainly noticed her.

This eagle was in the cove area between Starved Rock and Lover's Leap. As seen from the top of Starved Rock

Here is the same photo as before but not zoomed.  See the eagle?  I can't find it without the zoom.

View of the Dam from atop Starved Rock

View of Leopold Island from the top of Starved Rock

View of the Lodge from atop Starved Rock

View of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap.  Notice everyone has something on their heads

Walking on the boardwalk on the way to Eagle's Cliff

View looking East from Eagle's Cliff. Love the clouds.

Some of us also went to Beehive Overlook.  These three hikers are really enjoying the view!

No ice climbers today.  Some of the ice fall has melted with the warmer weather. 

Sometimes there is an additional ice fall that forms under the East Overlook in Wildcat Canyon.  Today it was just dripping.

Wildcat Canyon

Some frozen ice on the wall in Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon from the East Overlook

Top of French Canyon

Top of French Canyon

Almost back to the Lodge

A cup of hot coffee from the Starved Rock Lodge Cafe is a great way to finish a blistery hike.

I will leave you with this: Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier, and to be the best version of you.