What's The Story Here?
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 trails to their cars and snow flakes started flying around as if it was a fairy tale! I took my time wander in front of and behind these magnificent structures and this is just one of the many that survived the post processsing.
Just as I was about to pack my bags and hit the dusty 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 mindless monkey acts
was rather a hard pill to swallow.
While I understand that it's hard for the National Park Service
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 & enjoy.
In a 10 mile neighborhood ...
- Behind The Eben Ice Curtain
- Soul Searching
- Scott Falls