Wednesday, March 7, 2007

White Pine 2007 Group Outings


Outing participants are expected to sign a liability waiver, a copy of which can be previewed at RSVP to Outings Chair Barb Cooey, Editor Dick Worm, or the designated Outing contact person for details and participation plans. Some Outings have several options. Explore and Enjoy... selectively! :)

March 23-25 "Whitewater Canyon Area Spring Equinox Celebration"
(Select from a variety of activities during this action-packed weekend.) Bill and Alaine Jamison live near the newly designated Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area and another upstream stretch of Whitewater Creek that also has rugged bluffs and vistas. Activity options will explore and experience these areas:

Friday and/or Saturday evening, March 23 & 24: Backpack camp in a remote area along Whitewater Creek upstream from Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area; or car camp at the nearby Fillmore Recreation Area, and/or use the Jamison's drive-up cabin for evening meal and alternative lodging for maximum of three people. Meet at Jamison cabin. RSVP for time and logistics to Dick Worm after March 20.

Saturday, March 24: "Hike and GPS/geocaching Demonstration", Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area, Meet at parking lot at 10 AM. Nick Wagner will provide a few virtual and actual geocache "treasure hunts" as we hike the trail to Whitewater Creek; but some off-trail exploration will later increase the difficulty of some alternative exploration. Bring a lunch if plan to stay after 1 PM for later activity.

Saturday, March 24:  "Whitewater Creek Area Hike and Cook-Out." Meet at the Jamison cabin at 2 PM. A woodland hike (on trail with some off-trail options) to Whitewater Creek and vistas will be followed by a bring-your-own personal items to grill and potluck sharing dinner at 6 PM. RSVP: Bill Jamison and MAYBE he will grill a pork or a beef roast FOR us! :) Bring $$, too, in that case.

March 30 (Fri). or 31 (Sat) "Moon Walk"
Meet at Swiss Valley Nature Center Parking Lot, at 7 PM, Friday evening March 30 for a moonlight stroll around the Stream Bottom Loop Trail, about 4 miles. There is a Full Moon on April 2, so the waxing gibbous moon ought to be up to brighten the pathway. (But bring a headlamp or flashlight for shadowy sections!) In case of cloudy weather, alternate date is Saturday night March 31. If cloudy then, also, outing will be cancelled. Please RSVP to Carol (Butchie) Thompson to<br>double check on parking and cloudy prospects, and for cocoa logistics following the hike.

NOTE: The following three outings are canoe/kayak outings. Dick Worm has access to a canoe trailer and 8 canoes that can be made available with paddles and Personal Flotation Devices as needed. Bill Jamison may have access to some canoes. Your RSVP can include a request for a canoe reservation. FREE!

April 14 (Sat.) "Canoe/Kayak Float Trip on the North Fork of Maquoketa River from Hillside 'Ghost Town' to just North of Cascade"
Meet at 10 AM at the Hillside Launch area. Directions: 1.2 miles north of Cascade turn west onto Goose Hill Road (D-47). Go 5.5 miles and turn right (north) onto Recker Rd. Go 2.2 miles and turn right onto 333rd Ave. Go 0.7 mile and turn right onto 330th Ave. Go 0.6 mile and turn right onto 305th St. Go 1.4 mile to the Hillside "Ghost Town" launch site. (If worried, meet at 9:30 AM at the Rt. 136 and Goose Hill Rd. intersection.)  The float trip will be about 9-10 miles. Bring a lunch. At least one vehicle will be left at the Rt. 136 bridge to take drivers back to Hillside at the end of the float trip. RSVP: Bill Jamison or Dick Worm.

May 19 (Sat) "Canoe/Kayak Trip from Whitewater Bridge to Ozark Bridge on the North Fork of Maquoketa River south of Cascade"
Bill Jamison is also coordinating this 12 float mile trip. Meet by 10 AM at the Whitewater Bridge Access on County Road D-61 East out of Cascade. From Dubuque, D-61 may be reached from US 151 via County Road Y-31 South through Bernard. One or two vehicles will be left at the Ozark Access to return drivers to the Whitewater Access. Route between the Accesses follows D-61, 7th Ave./267th St. and 21st Ave.

June 2 (Sat) "Catfish Creek Clean-Up"
June 2 is kickoff for National River Clean-Up Week sponsored by American Rivers. Our Catfish Creek Clean-up is registered so receives free trash bags and coffee courtesy of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Volunteers are eligible to enter contests for prizes such as free kayaks and canoes. Our event will begin at 9 AM at the canoe launch parking area in the Mines of Spain by the Catfish Creek Bridge. Walk the shoreline as well as canoe or kayak, including some near shore of Mississippi River. Recyclables will be sorted from the trash. Have gloves, insect repellant, etc. Bring a lunch.

August 24-26 "Group Picnic/Camp-Out" at Dick and Jane Worm's Faraway Farm 8 miles south of Dubuque. This is several months away so mark your calendar and plan NOW to attend this opportunity to explore and enjoy with fellow Sierrans in a quiet and private setting. (Gate for the pond lane will open Friday at 4 PM and stay open through Sunday evening.)

Come for all or any of these options: Arrive anytime Saturday for the noon picnic, hiking, pond activities, and evening campfire. Primitive camp August 24 and/or 25. (Several tents are available for anyone wanting to try tenting.)

The Saturday noon potluck picnic at the pond shelter is the main event. Grills will be provided. Bring your own meat or morsels to grill; a salad, vegetable, or dessert to share; utensils; beverages; lawn chairs. Picnic tables are in the shelter. All other camp meals and drinking water are Bring Your Own. An outhouse is nearby.

On this 150 acre conservation easement property on bluff land overlooking the Mississippi River, the pond (with a raft, dock, canoes, a boat, and a paddleboat) offers opportunity to fish, swim, and paddle. Trails from the pond lead to the Mississippi River shore, to a Big Bluestem prairie grass site, to the river bluff, and to a high ridge. Find sink holes, fern covered rock faces, a pit mine, and river vistas. Try some GPS techniques. Stay for evening campfire and night hike on Friday and/or Saturday.

Bring insect repellent. Off-trail wanderers may encounter poison ivy and thorny brush.

Tenting options are on the pond's dam near the shelter, fire ring, an outhouse; at two mowed river bluff locations (one with a fire ring and nearby outhouse); or at other more remote spots.  Another mowed site by the remains of an old stone cabin on the high ridge is on the same level as Echo Hills Drive so can easily be hiked to from Dick and Jane's home or less easily by trail up from the pond.

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