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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hennepin, Hidden and Owl Canyons 01-28-2016

Theme photo
 Today's Walker's Club had 31 hikers and 1 dog (Cocoa).  We met in the Lodge's lobby and carpooled to Hennepin Canyon parking lot and walked from there.  It was a great day for hiking.  The sun was out and about 38 degrees or so.  Very little wind.  Saw a few eagles and many ice formations.

What a colorfull bunch we have today.  31 hikers and Cocoa

This is the only parking lot that once you park your car you have to cross Rt. 71 to get to the trail.

The trail started out just being frozen leaves.  That didn't last long, soon it was nothing but ICE.

Very ICY!!!  Yak trax or Katoohlas

View from Hennepin Overlook

One arm of Hennepin Canyon, nice ice formation

Hennepin Canyon

Another Ice fall coming out of the West wall of Hennepin Canyon

Hennepin Canyon Bridge.  The road in the distance is Rt. 71

Looking out to Hennepin Canyon

The main Hennepin Canyon waterfall

Hidden Canyon

Top of Owl Canyon

Inside Owl Canyon

Ice at the bottom of Owl Canyon

Frozen stream design, Love it!

Frozen Stream design

Owl Canyon

Eagle on the river area, near Owl Canyon

Illinois River Bank

Coming out of Owl Canyon

Going up the steps on the way back.  About 130 or so steps

Hennepin Canyon on the way back

Back at the cars, time to head back to the office

The trails were icy.  These Yak- tracks saved this hiker from falling many times.  These can be found in the Gift Shop here at the Lodge or at your favorite sporting goods store.  About $25-$35.  Stick not included.  Spend the extra $5 for the strap or use a shoelace to hold them on your boots. 

I will leave you with this: The things that matter most in this world, they can never be held in our hand.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nature Preserve Rt. 71, 1-24-2016

I've been wanting to get back to the Nature Preserve to see if I could find the final waterfall at the end of Jolliet Canyon. My old guide book says there are 2 waterfalls past the Twin Falls area. Today we also visited Allouez Canyon.  We parked across the street from the entrance to Deer Park Country Club and walked in.  It's a bit tricky as there are no trails. 

Allouez Canyon
 Allouez Canyon received its name to honor the Jesuit missionary, Father Jean Claude Allouez (1622-1689), missionary to the Illinois Indians following the death of Marquette.
Allouez Canyon

Side wall  of Allouez Canyon

Inside and behind the waterfall of the East waterfall of the Twin Falls.  If you would follow this stream up you would come to Marquette Canyon. 

Behind the East Twin Fall.  Also took a video


Water coming down in the East Twin Fall
I have only seen this plant in the park at the trail crossing in Ottawa / Kaskaskia Canyons.  What a treat.  Horse tails

Now for the main event.  We followed the stream up the canyon from the West Twin Falls (sorry I didn't get a photo) and finally came to the end waterfall for Jolliet Canyon.  Very impressive!  Getting in was nothing but ice.  Good thing my friend Lori brought her Katoohlas.  We couldn't have done it without them.  Thank you, Thank you Lori.  Lori went first and then I went up. 
Lori started out being a little hesitant about standing on the frozen ice stream.  I must have been convincing to tell her that if we were going to break through and get our feet wet, I would go first since I was heavier.  I lead most of the way up until we put the Katoohlas on.  Here we came upon Sandstone walls on both sides.  The only way to get in was up a slight incline on the ice.  Lori went first, and when she came back I went in.  It was about 70 feet away. 

We both actually slid down on this when we came out.  No sled needed.

She couldn't resist not going in

Lori is in.  I gotta say, I really didn't think she would go all the way to the top. 


This massive ice fall is what was around the corner.  Amazing!!!  Jolliet Canyon - (formerly Hitt Canyon), Renamed to honor the French explorer Louis Jolliet (1645-1700), discoverer of the "Illinois Country" in 1673.
I will leave you with this: A friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wildcat, LaSalle Canyons, Eagles Cliff, Lover's Leap 01-23-2016

Theme photo of the hike

I was the hike leader for the Guided Winter Hike today.  We had 16 hikers and 3 dogs.  They were a great group!  All stayed together pretty much the whole time.  There was a little bit of ice on the trails and the stairways.  It is time to bring out the Yak trax.  

The only difference between the Walk and Pro is that the PROs have the strap to hold them on your boots.

Some of the trails are icy, Yak trax were nice to have today.

Wildcat from the East Overlook.

Time for a photo!

Up, Under or Around

Coming down the stairway by Lonetree Canyon.  Steps were more snow than ice.  Nice to have the Yak-trax

Going into LaSalle Canyon

Bonus waterfall going into LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon up close
LaSalle Canyon from behind

LaSalle Canyon was so spectacular, I had to take a video


Bridge coming out of LaSalle Canyon

Illinois River, Near LaSalle Canyon

Resting place along the Illinois River near Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon, 2 frozen waterfalls today

Wildcat Canyon

Looking East from Eagle's Cliff

Lone Eagle.  Coming back from Lover's Leap, near Devil's Nose

Top of French Canyon

Top of French Canyon.  Almost back to the Lodge
What a great day to be out hiking!

I will leave you with this: "Log off", "Shut down", "Go Outside".