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.

Dec. 22, 2016, Wildcat, Lover's Leap, Eagles Cliff, Christmas party

Sorry for the lateness of this blog post.  New phone with new camera.... need I say more.  From my memory it snowed a few days prior of us hiking.  There trails and stairs were snow ice covered.  Yak trax or Katoohlas were definitely needed.  There were about 45 hikers.  We left the Lodge heading East on the Campanula Trail. We viewed Wildcat from above and then went in the Canyon.  Leaving Wildcat we went to Eagles Cliff and Lover's Leap.  Finished back at the Lodge about 11:00a.m. for our Holiday Cookie Exchange and Lunch.

Some of us were smart enough to put on our extra traction at the Lodge.  But some had to put them on later. 45 hikers

Snow and ice covered trails


Katoohla spikes

Top of Wildcat

Hiking poles do help in the winter

Wildcat icefall from the East Overlook.  Love the white color. As the winter goes on, this will thaw and freeze many times which will bring in some brown colors.  Earlier in the season is always best.

"Would I like to ice climb someday?"

There was so much ice and snow on the stairs that some hikers thought going down backwards would be better.

Coming down 155 to enter into Wildcat Canyon

Nothing but ice and snow on the stairs

There was still water running in the center

Joe getting a good photo

Walker Club members enjoying the icefalls

I zoomed this photo (blurry).  There are ice climbers just beginning their climb.  The man in the front is tied off and connected to 3 lines.

Ready, Set, Go!

River Trail view of Eagles Cliff

Tracks on the frozen river. Geese? Pelican? Turkey?

This was a pelican that stayed in one place too long
This eagle wasn't too far from the pelican that was stuck in the ice.

View from Eagles Cliff looking East, still best view in the park.

View from Eagle's Clif looking East

Lock and Dam from Eagles Cliff

Atop Eagles Cliff, looking for Eagles

Top of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap. 

If you look real close you can see the eagle.  This was taken in the area between Starved Rock and Lover's Leap

Lover's Leap Overlook.  Still looking for eagles.  How many people does this overlook hold safely?

I wore my Eagle hat just incase we didn't see any.

After leaving Lover's Leap, we went back to Wildcat Canyon via the Pontiac Canyon Trail.  This is a view into Wildcat Canyon from the West overlook.  Notice the ice climbers.

A zoomed in view of the ice climbers.  They are much easier to see when they wear bright colors.  I'm sure they didn't like the waterfall still coming down behind the ice.

An undisturbed snowlog

2 deer that will escape hunting in the park

Christmas at the Lodge

After the hike today many stayed for the Cookie Exchange with lunch following. Everyone that wanted to participate brought 2 doz cookies.  My office mixed them up and they each went home with 2 doz cookies.  Some brought their spouses to join us for lunch.  What a great day!!!
I will leave you with this: It's impossible to walk in the woods and be in a bad mood at the same time.