Sunday, April 13, 2014

4-12-2014- Ottawa, St. Louis and French Canyon tour

Today's hike (Saturday April 12, 2014) I was scheduled to hike the 2nd Waterfall and Canyon Tour.  The Lodge offers these every Monday and Saturday through the months of April and May.  This just so happens to be my favorite time to hike in the park.
Activity Sign
The group (21 of them)  all ate a hardy lunch before departing on the trolley at Noon.  Our first stop on the trolley was at the Ottawa Canyon parking area.  We walked a fairly dry trail in and stopped for a few minutes at Council Overhang.  What a marvel.
Inside Council Overhang
Going up one side of the stairway and coming down the other side.  We crossed over the stream a few times.  We just had to watch our step.  Coming to the end we were rewarded with a waterfall.
Ottawa Canyon
Every sure loved Ottawa Canyon.  What we are walking on is still ice.  Notice the ice shelf in the next photo.
Ice shelf
One of the reasons I love hiking in the park at this time of year is the wildflowers.  I love to see them peek through one day and bloom the next time I go out.  At the intersection of Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyon there is a good display of Horsetails (that's what I call them).

Very Early bluebells
Very Early start of a Mayapple
White Trillium
Very Early Trout Lily
Early Purple Trillium
After Ottawa Canyon we got back on the trolley and went to the entrance of St. Louis Canyon and walked in.  Right away I saw a perfect Dutchman's Britches.
Perfect Dutchman's Britches
We walked on the trail about 10-15 minutes and came to St. Louis Canyon waterfall.  Again there was an ice shelf.  I also tried another video.  Enjoy
St. Louis Canyon

We were in St. Louis Canyon and this couple found just the right resting spot.  Great place to rest and take in the scenery.
Couple resting
After we all walked back to the trolley.  The trolley to us to the Visitor Center for a very short 5 minute bathroom break.  They all met me out front of the Visitor Center and we then continued on into French Canyon.  Again another ice shelf.  Look closely you can see underneath and through to the other side.

French Canyon (ice shelf)
What a day!  I had a great group of guests.  All of them did all 3 canyons.  We left at Noon and got back at about 2:50p.m. Just in time for the 3:00 trolley tour. 

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.

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