Thursday, November 29, 2018

November 29, 2018 LaSalle and Wildcat Canyons

It's Yak-trax time!

What a great day to hike!  We were scheduled for the Nature Preserve, but with hunting in the park we had to adjust our hike.  We left the lobby of the Lodge at 9:00a.m. and headed out on the Campanula trail to Wildcat Canyon and then further East on the bluff trail to the Lonetree canyon staircase down to the River trail to LaSalle Canyon.  There was a tree down at the entrance to Lasalle Canyon.  Some of the walkers went through the fallen tree.  I took my photos and turned around.  The weather was fabulous!  More on wearing foot attire later....

48 people came on the hike today

Top of Wildcat Canyon

The group coming to Wildcat Canyon. The trails and stairs are extremely icy. Yak trax and something similar should be worn when coming hiking in the Winter.  I gave everyone a brief talk on the available traction devices to attach to their footwear.  Pictures to follow:

This option is the cheapest.  About $5-$10.  These can be found online or in a local shoe store.  Not my first choice or recommendation, however this style is better than nothing at all and would be ok with very little ice and snow.

This option is ok for most hiking here. These sell for about $25 in the Starved Rock Lodge Gift Shop.  If you buy the regular ones without the strap, you will need to use something to tie them on so they don't fall off.  This is a MUST!  I have seen many people walk right out of their yak- trax and not even know it.  They do have a type called Yak-trax pros.  The Pros are about $5 more but come with a velcro strap. 

These are my recommendation. Kahtoohla MICRO spikes. They are about $60.  Well worth the money. These will be good in deep snow and icy stairs and conditions. You can purchase these at some of the outdoor sports shops and online.

Wildcat Canyon from the upper East Overlook

Snowy and icy trail

View from Sandstone Overlook

Everyone caught up to me for a mini break and view.

Look through the trees, you can see the bluff stairs

Joe is pointing out the Burl and talking about how and why it is there.

Going down the Lone Point stairs and Surprise, no snow.

All 48 people coming down the bluff stairs

View of the LaSalle Canyon stream flowing into the Illinois River

Looking toward the Tonti Canyon bridge on our way to LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon from a distance.  There is a tree blocking the trail.  Some people went around and some went on through.

Close up of the tree across the trail. We reported it when we returned. It should be cleaned up in the next few days.

A close up zoomed view of LaSalle Canyon ice fall

A mushroom log coming out of LaSalle Canyon

A view into no name canyon

This little area is always a little sketchy coming down the sandstone steps.  One of our members (Jack) lent a hand to everyone coming down.  Thanks Jack!

View of Eagle's Cliff from the river trail

We went into Wildcat Canyon to see the Ice fall and found some cool ice formations in the creek.

Wildcat Canyon has icicles.  Soon to be a full ice fall

Close up view of the Wildcat canyon icicles

We met Luna and his walker on the trail earlier.  Couldn't resist the photo.

Luna's owner told him it was time to go and he sat down. He then came up to him and said lets go its time and he actually laid down.  Too cute.  He probably had to carry him out.  Not sure. 
I will leave you with this: Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it.  Autograph your work with excellence.

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