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Friday, January 16, 2015

Nature Preserve- Margery Carlson, Jan 15, 2015

 Nice sunny day for a hike.  Today there were 25 hikers with 2 dogs.  Our hike today was scheduled to go to a Nature's Preserve.  We met in the Lobby and flipped a coin on which nature preserve to go to.  We carpooled to the parking area.  This preserve has very limited parking.  

I took this photo on Wednesday on my way to work.  I couldn't resist.  This is "Edna's" Tree

We are waiting for a few hikers to arrive so Ron is telling us who Margery Carlson is.  
 This 234 acre preserve is named in memory of Margery Carlson, who was instrumental in protecting the area, formerly known as Big Bend Nature Preserve. Carlson was a founder of the Illinois chapter of The Nature Conservancy, serving the chapter as its first secretary and later as trustee.
I think we had 6 cars in the parking lot and 3 on the road

We are getting assembled.  Kind of like herding cats

There are no trails in the preserve.  When a tree falls, you just have to go around, over or under.

We saw quite a few deer stands.  Lucky for us, deer hunting doesn't start until Friday.

After a very brushy walk we made it to the Vermillion River.  Partially frozen.  Below is a video of the River.

Time for a group photo.  Ron assured me everyone was on rocks not ice.  I'm not totally 100% sure he is correct.  But no one fell through.

I couldn't believe my luck with what is here.  I think this is the last of the bunny's (or some other small animal.)  It is a Wing Print.  Similar to a foot print but with wings!

Lori and Kevin

I would have liked to see this bridge when it was in use.

The Nature Preserve has an Arch.
We arrived back at the Lodge about 11:30a.m./12:00p.m. Some of us enjoyed some hot chocolate or coffee.  Then I had to go back to the work in the office.  I love Thursdays!

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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Matthiessen Park 01-08-2015

Very Chilly today.  My car temperature was at -2 and when I went through Oglesby it was -7.  I feel that once it dips below 0 it is all the same.  Just plain COLD!!!  There wasn't a breeze so that was a plus.  Today we had 11 HARDY hikers, myself included.  We haven't been to Matthiessen Park for quite some time.  It was a treat.

Of the 11 hikers, there was only 1 hiker that did not have them for her feet.
All of us with one type or another of grippers for our feet.  Except for one.
Replicate fort at the beginning of our hike.
We are all bundled up, for good reason!
Cross Country Skiing is available at Matthiessen Park.  Ski rental available on the weekends, when we have snow.
Cross Country Ski markers are all blue
This is Strawberry Rock.  Today it looks like a white chocolate covered strawberry
We started to go down the steps to the lower dells, and we were the FIRST ones since the snow on Monday.
This track wasn't from us.  A deer maybe.
The Cement stairway.  Joe was making it snow.
We headed into the Devil's Paintbox.  Not much paint in the box but the ice waterfall was nice.
Devil's Paintbox frozen waterfall
Cement bridge on the other side of the dells.
I was shocked to see Don in the middle of the frozen pool by Cascade Falls
Selfie with the Cascade Falls in the background
Cascade Falls
One of the little cave like areas by Cascade Falls (Yes, I was on the frozen pool)

Cool Ice formations
Glenn checking out some of the ice coming from the Sandstone
Ice formations
Icicles in the Lower Dells
On the Concrete bridge looking South towards the Vermillion River
On the Concrete Bridge looking North towards the falls area
Jan traversing the one of many concrete stepping stones.
Still the first ones here.


You could still hear water running beneath

Thin layer of water over the ice here
Still have to be careful for the rocks and roots on the path
Love this tree
Giants Bathtub
Lake Falls frozen fall.  Notice Joe on the bridge

Close up of Lake Falls

Matthiessen Lake
Lake Falls, looking down from the bridge
Nobody needed a rest break.  Well I really think, they all wanted to get back to get warmed up.
Ski rental cabin
I would like to say this is my snow angel.  But I found it near the parking lot at Matthiessen Park

This was definitely a hike for extreme outdoor traction!
Even though it was extremely cold, I am glad I got out and did the hike. I have been hiking in all weather and I gotta say, that the deep cold is not my favorite.  It ranks right in front of hiking in the cold rain.  Some people wouldn't even think of hiking unless the temperature is the same as their age, and they are 50+.

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.