Friday, January 30, 2015

Jan 29, 2014 - LaSalle, Tonti, Wildcat, Lover's Leap and Eagles Cliff

Walker's Club today left with 29 walkers and 2 dogs from the Lodge's Lobby and walked on a very icy trail to Wildcat, LaSalle, Tonti Canyons.  We also went to Lover's Leap and Eagles Cliff.  The Trails are Calling, so YOU better get out There.  Get some Yak-Trak and off you go.
Wildcat Canyon
Trail conditions - ICY

All of us on the bridge over Wildcat Canyon

Check out the feet.  All but one have some sort of extra traction.  I recommend Yak-Trax.  You can purchase these in the Starved Rock Lodge's Gift Shop
These are what the Yak-Trax look like.  Thank you to the foot model.

Frozen Ice Fall at Wildcat Canyon

Great picture of Pileated Woodpecker holes

Joe thought he would use the outdoor "Phone Booth"  to phone home.....

Two girls from Skokie joined us for the hike.

Eagles Cliff from the Bluff Trail- There was an eagle flying, but can't see it in the photo.
Can you see the eagle? Flying near the tip of the trees.

Burl in a tree near the Bluff stairs, before we went down.

Looking over the bridge to the South, going into LaSalle Canyon

Looking over the bridge going into LaSalle Canyon.  Looking out to the Illinois River

What a view in the Winter.  The Canyons are "Naked", no leaves or foliage, you can see all the sandstone sides of the Canyons.  Here we are walking into LaSalle Canyon.

LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon

Behind the icefall in LaSalle Canyon

Behind and underneath LaSalle Canyon ice fall

Totally underneath the icefall in LaSalle Canyon

Rock formations in LaSalle Canyon
I just thought this was neat how the black crust of sand was just hanging there.
LaSalle Canyon from the West side on the way to Tonti Canyon

It's been a while since we went to Tonti, so we thought today would be a great day to go in.

Think Sping!!!  Yea I know I'm pushing the calendar.  This wildflower is one of the first to emerge.  These are last year's leaves, and the flowers will be light lavender, pink and purple.  Green leaves will follow in the summer. Hepatica.

Ice Formations on the ground on the way into Tonti Canyon
West side of Tonti Canyon

East side of Tonti Canyon.  Some years this side is also frozen all the way to the bottom.

Head on photo of Tonti Canyon ice fall

I went behind Tonti's icefall and took these cool photos

Behind Tonti

Behind Tonti

More ice formations

Canadian Geese- He just was floating- he wasn't alive.  This must have just happened, he was in good shape.
Hollowed out tree along the River Trail

View of Eagle's Cliff from the River Trail

Inside Wildcat Canyon - Notice the crack near the top...

The girls from Skokie were having a great day!

View from Eagle's Cliff looking West.  I still think this is the best view in the park.

View from Eagle's Cliff looking North towards the Lock and Dam.  Leopold Island to the left.

Leopold Island - Can you spot the eagle in the center of the photo.
Top of the Rock from Lover's Leap

Eagle in a tree between Lover's Leap and Starved Rock "The Fishing Cove"

Same eagle as above photo.  Rock in the background is Devil's Nose.

When you see this sign, you know you only have 10 minutes left before you arrive at the Lodge.  That is unless you take a left and go to Wildcat Canyon.  That would be the long way home at about 45min.

Looking down into French Canyon

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Eagle watching the bridge over Fox Canyon
It was a little gloomy out without the sun shining.  But when you are with a group of Friends all is good.
I will leave you with this:  Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.