This park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing a scenic hiking experience. Many areas on these trails have seen new construction, making the journey to the caves safer. Most of the caves may be entered by persons of average physical ability, but some are more advanced. However the park’s caves were closed to humans between 2010 and April 2012 in the hopes of protecting the resident bats from white nose syndrome.
The park is in the Driftless Area of Iowa. This region escaped being glaciated in the last ice age, while regions to the east and west were not spared. The park has been subjected to hundreds of thousands of years of natural non-glacial erosion.
The park’s caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs represent a step back in geological time of thousands of years. Stalactites once hung from the ceilings and stalagmites rose from the floor. Souvenir hunters have robbed the caves of this rare beauty, but many formations remain. The park’s limestone caves, arches and chimneys including Dancehall Cave, Hernado’s Hideaway, Shinbone Cave, Wye Cave, and an unmarked cave within the Dancehall Cavern locally known as Steelgate Cave.
A bit of history
Artifacts such as pottery, as well as tools and projectile points made of stone have been found in the caves and surrounding area. These discoveries indicate that the Maquoketa Caves area has been of interest to humans for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Early recorded history tells that the Native Americans in the area were likely visitors to the Raccoon Creek valleys. The first Euro-American explorers first visited the caves as late as the mid-1830s. The area was originally known as Morehead Caves or Burt’s Cave. It had become a popular place for exploration, picnics, parties, and dances by the 1860s. A dance floor was constructed north of Natural Bridge in 1868, and a pavilion, which was used until the 1920s, was built sometime later. By the turn of the 20th century the area had become seriously degraded, and its popularity declined. (wiki)
Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park is located in the state of Michigan consisting of 240 acres of land containing the largest collection of Native American petroglyphs in Michigan. The carvings were created in the pre-Columbian era and represent s aspects of Native American spirituality. There is also an interpretive hiking trail within the park along the nearby Cass River.
The main feature of the park is a 1,000 square foot sandstone outcrop with around 100 petroglyphs on it which makes this the largest grouping of such carvings in Michigan. These carvings were likely carved between 400 to 1,400 years ago and were discovered by the area’s settlers after much of the Thumb region was burned over .by a massive forest fire in 1881.
Many archaeologists have studied the site dating back to the 1920’s. The stone tools and pottery found in the park show that various tribal groups have occupied the area periodically throughout the last 8,000 years. The petroglyphs were thoroughly recorded in 1940 by Darrel Richards and Carl Holmquist of the Aboriginal Research Club of Detroit who created drawings and castings of the carvings which are now in the collection at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
In addition to the rock carvings, the Cass River floodplain forest within the park can be explored via a 1.5 mile trail loop which crosses the river twice. The area is home to a wide variety of animals including deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, green heron and belted kingfisher. Also, numerous outcrops of Marshall Sandstone are visible along with the site of a 19th century logging camp.
As with last weeks post, I have been digging through the archives to find captures that I have not done anything with. That being said, we are jumping back to 2013 in North Bend, Washington. North Bend is on the western side of the Cascade Mountain Range just east of Seattle. The town is nestled in a beautiful valley and is home to numerous hiking trails and some pretty intense ones at that.
Todays captures come from two different trails, the first one is called Little Si and is rated low to intermediate.
I miss the lushness of the Pacific Northwest woods…….
I love the way the sun was shining through the forest canopy on these moss covered boulders.
The next three captures are from the Twin Falls trail. I have shared numerous shots of the falls, but nothing from the trail to get to them.
With the warmer weather and states opening up after long months of social distancing, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite regions of the United States – the highest rocky headlands of Maine and Acadia National Park, located near the city of Bar Harbor. I traveled to Maine right after my Kilimanjaro […]
“In order to see birds, it is necessary to become park of the silence” – Robert Lund
A rewilding, brought about first through neglect and now through intentional human effort, is occurring on all over the world and certainly here in the Midwest. Over the years, I have discovered unique beauties on ambling adventures along the Wisconsin and Michigan Shoreline, and even in the heart the city…downtown Chicago. A rewilding, brought about first through neglect and now through intentional human effort, is occurring on all over the world and certainly here in the Midwest. Over the years, I have discovered unique beauties on ambling adventures along the Wisconsin and Michigan Shoreline, and even in the heart the city…downtown Chicago.
The early interest in observing birds for their aesthetic rather than utilitarian (mainly food) value is traced to the late 18th century in the works of Gilbert White, Thomas Bewick, George Montagu and John Clare The study of birds and natural history in general became increasingly prevalent in Britain during the Victorian Era, often associated with collection, eggs and later skins being the artifacts of interest. Wealthy collectors made use of their contacts in the colonies to obtain specimens from around the world. It was only in the late 19th century that the call for bird protection began leading to the rising popularity of observations on living birds. The Audubon Society was started to protect birds from the growing trade in feathers in the United States while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds began in Britain.
Bird watching will get your children to go outside. …
Bird watching allows for introspection and contemplation. …
Bird watching can improve cardiovascular health. …
Bird watching gives you an excuse to travel. …
Bird watching builds a sense of community. …
Bird watching quickens reflexes.
“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes” – Charles Lindbergh
Birding in North America was focused in the early and mid-20th century in the eastern seaboard region, and was influenced by the works of Ludlow Griscom and later Roger Tory Peterson. Bird Neighbors (1897) by Neltje Blanchan was an early birding book which sold over 250,000 copies. It was illustrated with color photographs of stuffed birds.
More and more we sensed that we were creating a truly great thing, and after a while all of us old hands became truly dedicated to it and determined to stick to it.
OTTO “RED” ANDERSON, DRILLER AND ASSISTANT CARVER
With nearly three million visitors from all over the world coming to Mount Rushmore each year, we knew we wanted to be there — standing in awe of the art and craftsmanship involved in creating one of the most visited sites in America.
From South Dakota Highway 244 leading to Mount Rushmore, we caught side glimpses of George Washington. Washington’s was the first figure started and the most prominent visage of the four presidents memorialized in an arrangement conceived by South Dakota historian Doane Robinson and executed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum
Join Kyle and his little dog “Katana” as they take you along for every step of their 2,185 mile adventure hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Confront the terrain, severe weather, injury, dangerous wildlife and questionable characters as you grow and learn as Kyle did from start to finish of this epic adventure. Make some friends for life, learn the finer points of long distance hiking, and realize that what you take within your backpack is not nearly as important as what you bring within yourself… This exciting and often times humorous narrative does more than simply tell the story of Kyle and Katana’s adventures on trail. You will be inspired, while learning what it takes mentally and physically to accomplish an undertaking such as hiking thousands of miles through mountainous wilderness while braving countless obstacles all determined to make you quit. Nobody said it was easy, but if you can make it to the end, your life will be changed forever. What are you waiting for? Adventure is calling
Hamta Pass lies at an altitude of 4270 m (14039 ft) on the Pir Panjal range in the Himalayas. It is a small corridor between Lahaul’s Chandra Valley and Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. The nomenclature of the trek was derived from Hamta Village, located below Sethan village, as part of the trek route. This pass is frequently used by shepherds of the lower Himalayan region, seeking high altitude grasslands in the summer, when the dry cold desert of Lahaul is barren.
Numbers of wildflowers and herbs grow at the altitude between 3000 to 3800 m. Vertical rock walls, waterfalls, hanging glaciers, pinewoods, rhododendron forests, open meadows, tiny lakes and peaks rising above 6000 m are the main characteristics of this trek. The trek begins in the green Kullu valley and crosses over, through Hamta Pass, into the drier region of Lahaul.
The trek takes climbers over glaciers, fast-flowing rivers, and challenging terrain, but is nevertheless regarded as suitable for fit beginners. Beyond Hamta Pass, trekkers can choose to extend their trek towards the beautiful Chandrataal lake.
The nearest hub is Manali, in Himachal Pradesh. Most itineraries include transport from Manali to Jobri, from where the trek begins. Depending on the trek itinerary, it takes 3–4 days to complete the trek. Some of the stops are naturally done at Chika, Balu ka Gera, Chatru, etc.
Although a bit west of what is considered the tradition Midwest, Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, park covers about 230 square miles, encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands.
The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name.
The park’s seven maintained hiking trails, some paved, vary in length from less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to nearly 3 miles. These named trails are Painted Desert Rim, Puerco Pueblo, Blue Mesa, Crystal Forest, Giant Logs, Long Logs, and Agate House. Hikers and backpackers may also visit the park’s wilderness areas.
Panorama of shortgrass prairie near Dry Wash in the southern section of the park.
Some of the larger animals roaming the grasslands include pronghorns, black-tailed jackrabbits (hares), Gunnison’s prairie dogs, coyotes, bobcats and foxes. Bobcats and bullsnakes hunt smaller animals, such as deer mice and white-tailed antelope squirrels in the park’s riparian zones. More than 16 kinds of lizards and snakes live in various habitats in the park.