2012: Eben Ice Caves

 

Though I re-learned about them a little over 18 months ago, whle chatting with dear friend Laura in Sweet Water Cafe, it took a while to plan a visit to these famed ice caves. The not so good winter does take some blame for my procrastination.

About a mile long hike, from the parking lot to the caves, is fairly moderate. The first 0.20 miles of it is through a privately owned field, the next 0.70 miles through the woods is pretty to say the least. And if one were to be fortunate enough to have had a snow fall the day before and just enough sunshine to light up the surroundings, the hike turns out to be something out of a Shakespearean novel! The last chunk of the trail is rather steep and having snowshoes can be quite handy. And if one were really fortunate, especially on a colder or a snowy day, fine folks from the nearby Rock River Cafe might be stationed at the trailhead with hot chocolate and other such survival food items.

As if mother nature was trying to reward my procrastination, a rather large crowd of visitors took to the dusty snowy trails to their cars and snow flakes started flying around. I took my time to wander in front of and behind these magnificent structures, and these are just a couple of the many that survived the post-processing. Just as I was about to pack my bags and hit the snowy trails myself, a group of what seemed like local high school students arrived at the scene. One of them looked certifiably more mature but his actions spoke otherwise – climbing up on these ice structures, trying to balance between two columns using his snowshoes, breaking/damaging several of these delicate formations via what can only be termed monkey acts was rather a hard pill to swallow.

While I understand that it’s hard for the local government and/or the school officials to police evey visitor to such areas that acts in a disrespectul manner, probably posting a more stingent warning might help a bit, just a bit, in preserving them for more people to see and enjoy.

EXIF and other information

Archive ID n2c_112-0830
Date and Time 2012-03-04 13:38:42
GPS Date and Time Image does not include relevant information
GPS Location 46.38294 N, -86.94441 E, 830 ft (Goolgle Map: Pin | Directions)
Camera Nikon D200
Lens AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
Focal Length 10.5 mm (35 mm equivalent: 15.0 mm)
Mode Aperture-priority AE
Shutter Speed 1/250 second(s)
Aperture f/8.0
ISO 200
Exposure Bias 0
Flash No
Filters None
Light Value 13.0
Hyperfocal Distance 0.66 m
Focus Distance 1.33 m
Depth of Field inf (0.44 m - inf)
Field of View 99.9 deg (3.18 m)
Tripod
Yes
Notes/Remarks ±2 stop and HDR using Photomatix Pro

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