Bunny here at the keyboard to share our New Year’s Day hike adventure.
Every year for several years, we have gone hiking on New Year’s Day. This year, it was the coldest day on record so far, but we were determined to go. Mom said that’s what long underwear and wool socks are for. I bundled up, too, with my tummy warmer on under my heavy coat. Morgan has a fur coat of her own and said she was good. So, off we headed to Starved Rock State Park.
We’ve been to Starved Rock before, but we love going this time of year because the frozen waterfalls look like ice sculpture. Every year, they freeze differently, so you see something new each time. Morgan and I were very excited to head out for a hike, because it’s been awhile since we’ve been on one. We were both hoping for grand adventure.
New Year’s Eve we got a nice blanket of snow, so we were thinking that there would be snow at Starved Rock, which is about forty five minutes away from our house. To our surprise, about halfway there, we noticed that there was no snow. We started to wonder if there would even be any ice or frozen waterfalls, but Mom said she thought the conditions were ideal for seeing the waterfalls in a frozen state.
Another surprise we discovered when we arrived at the trail head was that there was hardly anybody else there to hike. Dad said maybe they all stayed home because it was so cold. I suppose it’s possible, but let me tell you those people sure missed out. We did see a few other people out on the trails, but no other dogs. I did let some kids pet me and I think it was the highlight of their year. It’s too bad the rest of the year won’t be as good for them.
One thing that I found amazing was that there were still green ferns and moss growing all along the canyon. Here we were in the dead of Winter on the coldest day we’ve had this season and there were beautiful green things still thriving among the snow crystals. It made me feel good inside to think that there’s still life in places when we can’t see it.
Soon we got to the bottom of the Saint Louis Canyon and the waterfall did not disappoint us. It looked like a frozen jellyfish in places. We admired it from across the pond for a little while, and posed in front of it, and then we walked over to see it from underneath. I have to say that it was stunning from every angle. It looked like a castle for a pair of ice princesses. Morgan and I had great fun exploring it, and it didn’t even feel too cold down there.
On the way back out, though, it was quite bracing. It seems that the wind was to our backs on the way down. Heading out, we felt the breeze a bit more. None of us were sorry that we were bundled up. I wouldn’t even have minded wearing one of Morgan’s bubble wrap suits. I was very glad that Mom packed all my warm gear.
The hike was a great start to the year for us. I am glad we came prepared so that we could enjoy it to its fullest. I’m also glad we got that little reminder about green things waiting for us when the cold leaves. Mother Nature sure is full of wonderful surprises. I hope all of you had as much fun with the start of 2013 as we did.