Bunny here at the keyboard, writing about our first adventure of the year.
If you have read the blog for a while, you might know that we enjoy hiking together when we can. Our family has a tradition of hiking on New Year’s Day at Starved Rock State Park or Matthiessen State Park to see the frozen waterfalls. This year, we continued the tradition at Starved Rock.
Every year, our hike is different, and every year, the waterfalls are different. Some years, they look like ice castles, other times, they look like spindly ladders. You never know what you’re going to see when you start out on the trail. Küster, Flattery and I were quite excited to take our humans down the trail, even though the road was closed and we had to walk all the way down the hill first. We were there to hike anyway, so nobody was complaining. I hope that one of these days, though, they fix the road, because I think it keeps a lot of people from getting to enjoy the natural splendor of Saint Louis Canyon.
I am glad that we are all experienced hikers by now.
You never know what you’ll experience on the hiking trail. I remember back when Dad had to carry Küster part of the way because he was just a little guy. I also remember back to the time Dad had to carry Flattery up the stairs or let me walk up by myself to meet Dad at the top to help Flattery make it. Since then, we’ve all gotten very good at tackling tough obstacles. I was proud of both of them on this hike.
The toughest part was crossing the creek created by the falls. We’ve had a lot of flooding this year, especially in the last week, and the creek was a lot higher than usual. Several things saved our bacon and allowed us to get to the falls this year. There’s a tree that’s fallen down over the creek, and a lot of people walk over on it. When we saw how deep it was, we knew that the only person who could walk through was my human with her tall Hunter boots.
A plan was quickly formulated. Dad and Küs walked across the log together. I was impressed by how fleet of feet the two of them were. Next, my human tried to get Flattery to go across, but she put on the brakes. I scoffed and hopped up on the log to show her how it’s done. Mom walked beside me part of the way in the creek, then Dad was waiting to help me over the second half. After she saw me do it, Flattery figured it out and Mom walked beside her across the creek with no problems.
We also had to leap over a few fallen logs and navigate a few other obstacles on the trail. It was all worth it, though. We finally made it to the canyon and got our first view of the waterfall this year. To our surprise, it wasn’t frozen very much at all. The floods have made the water flow much too quickly. The falls were still a sight to see, however. Not only was the view fantastic, but it sounded lovely, too. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a rushing waterfall.
To our surprise, there were hardly any others at the falls this year. I suppose the weather and the closed road had a lot to do with it. We did see a very young Golden Retriever puppy out with his family and another Golden Retriever named Lily out on the trail, so I’m glad to know some other dogs were enjoying it. It was kind of nice not to have to share the trails with a lot of other people, though. I mean, when you go out to enjoy nature, too many people can really put a cramp in your style.
Overall, I would say that our year has gotten off to a good start.
We got to spend time together, then we came home and enjoyed a good nap. As a matter of fact, I was taking a nap until almost an hour past turn out time. We got a lot of fresh air, stretched our legs and got to see some things we don’t see every day. I don’t think you can ask for more than that.