Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wildcat, Eagles Clif, Lover's Leap, French Canyon Jan. 26, 2017

Today there was 31 hikers that left the Lodge's Lobby heading out to Wildcat Canyon.  From there we also went to Eagle's Cliff and Lover's Leap.  We had some extra time, so we also went into French Canyon.

31 hikers leaving the Lodge

Boardwalk out to Wildcat Canyon.  Watch out, the boardwalks are slippery when wet or snow covered.

Top of Wildcat Canyon

Looking down from the East Overlook in Wildcat Canyon.  The ice has fallen.

Wildcat waterfall from inside the Canyon

What's left of the ice fall at the bottom of Wildcat Canyon

A little bit of surface mud going into Wildcat Canyon

Bridge coming out of Wildcat Canyon. Notice we are the first ones across the fresh fallen snow.

View of Eagle's Cliff from the river trail

If you don't know where you are, just check out the many signs at the major intersections.

We are at the turning point, do we want to take the short cut or go to Eagle's Cliff?  We all took the Eagles Cliff direction.

On the way up to Eagle's Cliff there were two deer off to the left.  They could have cared less that we were there.  Deer #1

Deer #2

View from Eagle's Cliff looking East

View looking East from Eagle's Cliff. Illinois River

View of the Lock and Dam looking North from Eagle's Cliff

Leopold Island from the top of Lover's Leap.  Yes there is an eagle there.  Very hard to see.

"Elle" Very photogenic, and she listens!

Starved Rock from Lover's Leap

View of Devil's Nose from the boardwalk heading back.

We had some extra time today, so we went into French Canyon

Going into French Canyon

No icefall in French Canyon

Coming into French

Coming out of French Canyon.
I will leave you with this: You can always make more money, but you only have a set number of days to make more memories!

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.