Friday, December 24, 2021

Hiking with Charlie

This has been a tough week in a few ways but I won't go into those details. I was able to eek out a couple of hours to grab Charlie and take him with me to KVR [Kickapoo Valley Reserve].

I was surprised that I was the only vehicle in the parking area. In fact I'd passed several parking spots and hadn't seen anyone. Imagine my glee when I shared this information with Charlie. Poor Charlie wasn't exactly being gleeful. Sometimes he gets a wee bit worked up and a little car sick.

I needed a short quick Nature Fix so I chose Weister Creek.

We were not disappointed.

Pano of an ice 'cave'

Charlie and I climbed up into the cave on the top right and set up the camera and stood inside. I have wanted to do this for a long time. Photos rarely give anyone the true perspective of what we are seeing.

If you are wondering what is on my head. Well, it is my Skunk Hat. It has a face and a tail. It is definitely my most prized hat of all time. My regret is that it I can only wear it in cold weather.

By February, depending on the temperatures, I would be standing behind a wall of ice and the sandstone behind me would be slick with dripping ice. The Reserve actually offers tours on their website but cautions that a person should be in pretty good shape as the hike is demanding.

Climbing into these areas can be a bit tricky.

Charlie and I had some snacks here before moving on to the second formation.

This set of caves produces some of the most interesting ice colors I've ever seen. The ice reflects tones of blue, green, and yellow. The cave at the top generally becomes a wall of ice. This is only a small portion of this rather large area.

Charlie and I had another destination in mind. We wanted to walk the old equine trail and gaze at the Weister Creek ice.

The water is low this year, but thank goodness there is still seepage from the hillsides.

Yet we were still not at our destination. We had to take the 'super' secret old equine trail to one more place.

We spent a while here listening to the water run over the rocks and investigating the animals prints in the sand.

Charlie saw me pick up my backpack and he scurried up the next leg of the faint trail. I called him back, laughing. He knows these trails as well as he knows his own yard.

He trotted over and looked up at me with his soulful eyes. If it had been up to me, we'd have gone on exploring until dark.

The short days with all the shadows and light were amazing. I explained this to Charlie as we headed home.

He was disappointed and explained to me that the smells he found were simply amazing. 


  1. What beautiful country! I hope those sights helped heal your soul.

  2. What a great adventure! You took awesome shots, they show the vastness of the caves even via a camera. I can't believe there is that much/any ice. We have been so warm and have few signs of Winter. Our grass is still green. That fifth photo with creek reflections is sooo pretty. Glad you & Charlie got to take in the wonder of the KVR!!

    1. The trick is discovering where the water continuously seeps through the rock in a place that has cold air coming down below. The 'caves' themselves are very cold and the sun doesn't shine on them. I have seen ice here at the start of May.

      Thanks, getting a perception of size was important for me to try.
      Now you know why I love this trail!

    2. PS~ If you are ever brave enough to venture another hike ... in the winter I'd be happy to take you to here or others.

    3. Your trick makes perfect sense. You are so perceptive!!

      Yes, Weister Creek is very special.

      I wanted to explore the KVR ice caves the year I was at the Winter Festival, just don't think I could manage them. Even more so now. You are a good friend to offer! It would be so refreshing to chillax with you :) Wish I...

  3. The caves are so pretty, you picked a good day to go and I like your hat:)

    1. They are incredible natural formations. I am searching around for the ones people don't know about. I'm getting pretty good at it too!

  4. Merry Christmas! Love your photos and all the ice formations. How nice that you were able to get out and about today! Lucky you and Charlie too!

  5. We used to watch the Icicles on the way to Florida all those years ago... traveling through Tennessee and Kentucky. I used to think those were the greatest mountains ever.... Until I saw the Rockies. But, as a kid, it was very exciting.


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