Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hennepin, Hidden, Owl Canyon

What a great day to hike!  About 30 degrees.  Not much ice on the trails. Some people wore yak-trax.  I brought mine but didn't put them on.   Today's hike we met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to the Hennepin Canyon parking lot on Rt. 71 East of the Lodge.  

All 43 of us walking single file to cross the road and onto the main trail

Beyond the trees is the Illinois River

View from Hennepin Canyon Overlook

Trail conditions: Snowy with ice underneath

Looking at the West wall of Hennepin Canyon

A little fungi on the way

From the Hennepin Canyon Bridge looking South

Looking into Hennepin Canyon from the bridge

Looking back at the semi frozen Hennepin Frozen Ice fall

Hidden Canyon, its hidden, so we think this is Hidden Canyon

The ice was a little crunchy.  Not to bad to walk on.

We got to the top of Owl Canyon and some opted to hike back to the Lodge (10pp)  The rest turned around and went back to the cars. I rode with a friend, so I went back to the car. 

I was near the end on the way back

This snow melting on the rail by the closed Owl Canyon Overlook.  How does this happen?  Draped for winter. 

You have to be somewhat in shape to do these stairs (roots) in the winter.

Always trying to get a better photo of Hennepin Canyon

This boardwalk needs a little help.  Be careful here. This is on the trail a  little West of the Hennepin Canyon Overlook

This little sapling looks deadly. I think its some kind of a locust tree. 
I will leave you with this: Love yourself for all you have been, all you are, and all you will become!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

01-10-2019 Wildcat Canyon

Today was remarkable.  Lots of people came out to hike today, between 50-60 people. With the drop in temperature the waterfalls are starting to freeze again.  Trails were in great shape, no ice or mud. 
Wildcat Canyon icefall

Everyone leaving the Lodge heading out to LaSalle Canyon

Frozen creek above French Canyon

I love this section above French Canyon

Boardwalk on the way to Wildcat Canyon.  Not slippery today!

Stairway leading down to the top of Wildcat Canyon

Top of Wildcat Canyon

The middle to the end of the group arriving at Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat ice fall in Wildcat Canyon, view from the East platform

Joe says the limit is 18 hikers.  Hope they are lightweight under all that winterwear. Kathy Casstevens took a photo from the West Overlook.  She is in the distance with the red coat.

These hikers decided they have seen Wildcat Canyon before, so they patiently waited for the rest of us.

View from Sandstone Point looking West

Some are still arriving for the great view

Great view of the Sandstone here

What a view today!

On our way down the bluff stairs by Lonetree Canyon

The group went on the LaSalle Canyon, while I headed back to the Lodge.  Here is a photo of Lonetree Canyon.  No trail into this canyon

Red trail markers still mean the same thing in the winter.  This sign signifies that this path is not a trail.

Along the river the ice makes the coolest formations

This bench has eroded away a few years ago.  Love the ice by the seat of the bench

Wildcat Canyon Creek

Just cleaning up some fallen trees near Beehive Overlook

Stairs leading up to a beautiful blue sky or the Eagle's Cliff / cutoff to the bluff trail

Deer on the bluff trail near Lover's Leap
Another deer

There are 3 deer in this photo, all laying down

My favorite deer photo

Owl woodcarving in front of the Lodge.  Owl Prowl Weekend March 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  Owl programs Saturday and Sunday at 10:00, 12;00 and 2:00p.m. Call the Activities for more information.

I will leave you with this: A person's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019 Matthiesson State Park Dells Area

 I really wasn't expecting very many people with the coldness.  We had about 50 hikers and 2 dogs. We started in the Lodge's Lobby and departed from there.  We carpooled to the Dells area of Matthiessen State Park. There has been some flooding on the Vermillion and Illinois River, wasn't sure if that would effect the hiking in the dells.  

Matthiessen Park Bridge by the Lower Dells area

Lose a glove anyone?

Going down the stairs by the fort

I started out in the front of the group. Looking back at the group and hoping no one falls on the slightly slippery stairs.

Coming around the corner by Strawberry Rock

The famous "Strawberry Rock"

This is not a trail into Devil's Paintbox (notice the red trail marker)

Crossing this stream was difficult.  There was 2 places to cross, neither place was great.  Rocks were ok to step on, but wood pieces were extremely slippery. There was a thin coating of ice on the wood. I did not go in to the Dells area.  Myself and a few others waited on the concrete bridge for the group.

Bridge crossing over the Dells area.

View from the bridge looking down into the Dells area.  Second crossing. I saw 3 people fall here.

The rest of the group climbing the stairs out of the Dells area

Zoomed in photo of the group coming back
From the Bridge by Cascade Falls

We are on our way to Matthiessen Lake

Waterfall by Cedar Point area

Looking down to the Lake Falls at the Bridge.  I did not go down the stairs for a better view. Some walker's came up those stairs and said they were slippery.  I chose to forgo them.

I was very surprised to see a frozen Lake Matthiessen

On our way back to the starting area.  I turned back around to see if I could see Lake Falls.
 I will leave you with this: For every evil under the sun, There is a remedy, or there is none; If there be one, try and find it, If there be none, never mind it.