A Promise Kept....
We'd been promising a hike, when we could all get together on a warm winter's day, and last Sunday afternoon fit the bill.
Our destination was a special place close to home, a place anyone can enjoy because it is owned by our state's conservation department.
So named because the son of Aldo Leopold (father of modern conservation) stayed here when working one summer in the 1940s. He helped create the plan which reintroduced wild turkeys to Missouri. And it happened here! One of our isolated county's true claims to fame.
Climbing to the top of the rock.
It's a primitive cabin, with primitive facilities...
There was evidence of rodents living inside. No one in our group used the facility, just in case.
Caney Creek runs by the base of the bluff. See the green stalks of cane? An aptly named creek, eh?
Poppy explained to Wyatt that these canes make great fishing poles.
Goodbye to the cabin and off to our trail to....
Three-year-old Addie loved carrying a hiking stick.
She posed for me on this tree which grows out over a little branch....
We thought it looked like a bear's hammock.
Daddy helped her across the tiny stream, making sure her feet stayed dry.
Sus and Derek liked these long icicles.
Addie noticed this odd-looking root. She said, "It looks like a nest!" She was right!
As we climbed and climbed, the trail became harder to see. We had to watch closely for these.
Our trailblazers, Poppy and Wyatt, stayed far ahead of us. They are two of a kind, not wanting to poke along and take photos and look at weird roots and odd trees and shiny rocks. They want to GET THERE.
They called down to us, "Hurry up! We found it! It's cool!"
Most of us went down into Onyx Cave (some of us don't like crawling into holes.)
Going down the trail was MUCH easier than the ascent. See Sus's headband? It's a pattern called Calorimetry that you can find here on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/calorimetry.
It's a quick knit--I used Chunky Mochi...love the way the yarn self-stripes. There's a neat wooden toggle button on the back. Sus says she likes a warm headband much better than a whole-head hat.
We drove on up to the top of the conservation area and stopped for snacks. Wyatt wanted to climb this tree.
Sus and Addie enjoyed the view.
I made Addie's hat, too. The little knitted red flower made it cute.
We gathered for a group shot. (I don't know how to compensate for too much light in a photo.)
So we changed our angle and sacrificed the long-distance view in the background.
The sun was setting by the time we drove the North Trail back to the entrance and headed home.
It was a GLORIOUS end to an alreadly-beautiful afternoon.
Next on our list: the Spout Spring trail. Come see us and we'll take you along!