Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012 Group Outings and Other Events

Outing participants are to ALWAYS RSVP to the designated Outing CONTACT no later than the night before an outing begins for updates and participation plans. Occasionally, an outing may be revised or canceled depending on the nature and number of RSVPs. Participants are also to sign a liability waiver, a copy of which can be previewed at . Non-members may also participate. Many Outings include options. Explore and Enjoy as YOU like! :)

March 29, Thursday
Pre-"Red Gold" Movie Outing
Our Sierra Group was contacted by Dr. Katherine McCarville about co-sponsoring a "Red Gold" movie program after hearing about it at the Iowa Conservation Education Conference in early February. Therefore, we are giving this program timely coverage in our newsletter. Since many of us are "free-as-a-bird", so to speak, we are offering an outing to explore parts of our Northeast Iowa domain earlier that same day. Here goes:

Meet at about 10:30 AM at Echo Valley State Park near the eastern edge of West Union on Echo Valley Road. (Carpool at 8:30 AM from Dubuque, or from along the way by RSVP CONTACT, by meeting at the Menards Parking Lot just west of Dubuque. Route will be US 20 past Dyersville/Manchester/Masonville; north on IA 187 past Lamont/Arlington; then north on IA 150 past Fayette to West Union.) At Echo Valley SP, make a further plan: like maybe hike there; and/or visit Gilbertson Conservation Education Area; or go to the Thelman Wildlife Area or the Wildwood Nature Center (anyone know anything about these two?); or visit the Upper Iowa University Geology Department. Bring or plan on a quick-stop lunch. Attend the 3:30-5:30 program. Have dinner somewhere in Fayette. Return to the Menard's parking lot near Dubuque.


April 28, Saturday
Ram-Hoffman Hollow Wildlife Area Trek
Meet at 9:30 AM at the Area parking lot lcoated a short way to the right where Voyager Road/Hubbard St. reaches the Little Turkey River trout stream 2 miles east out of Colesburg. Or, carpool from Asbury HyVee lot across from Culver's at 8:30 AM. Will explore the separate Unit to the southwest on a tributary of the Little Turkey. Bring snacks or a lunch and beverage and other normal hiking aids.


May 6, Sunday
Whitewater Canyon Trek
Meet at 12:30 PM at the Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area parking lot. (Follow signs from US 151 at County Rd D-53 located about 1.5 miles southwest of the Sundown Road intersection or 1 mile northeast of Fillmore County Park golf course. Visit the Lost Canyon "Valley of Caves", the old CCC Dam, woodland/prairies, and scenic overlook.

RSVP CONTACT: Gary Thompson

May 12, Saturday
Catfish Creek Clean-Up, Mines of Spain
Meet at 9 AM at the Canoe Launch on Mines of Spain Rd on southeast edge of Dubuque. Bring your own canoe/kayak/PFD; or RSVP for canoe provision; OR, as importantly, plan to walk the shoreline. Bring gloves, insect repellent, sturdy shoes, long-legged pants (nettles). Finish by noon; or bring a lunch and help sort and clean recyclables there or at the stockpiled stash at Dick Worm's Faraway Farm's "Benglari."


May 26, Saturday
Denny Garcia Cave Concert at Natural Gait's Ion Exchange near Marquette
Meal at 6:30 / Concert at 7:30, $30.00
Reservations required: 563-535-7314 or 877-776-2208 or

Check or for directions and details. The unique concert setting is a long, bluff-face cave reached by a steep, rope assisted trail. Snacks and beverages are sold at the cave during the concert. The acoustics are awesome! Make a day of it by meeting at the Ion Exchange cave concert trailhead site at 1 PM for hikes on Yellow River SF and/or Natural Gait trails.


June 2 - 3, Saturday - Sunday
Float Trip and Camping on the North Fork Maquoketa River
This kayak/canoe float trip will go from Dyersville to Cascade with overnight, vehicle accessible camping at a private cabin just south of Worthington. Meet in Dyersville at 9:15 AM at 3rd Ave. SE and 1st St. SW, 2 blocks southeast of the Cathedral at a city ball park, for a 9:30 AM shuttle to the cabin site of vehicles and camping gear, including trailer campers; or meet there in Dyersville at 10 AM with your kayak or canoe to begin the 5-6 hour, 9-mile float to the cabin (from where a shuttle could return you to your vehicle in Dyersville.) A first day halfway point start is possible at a bridge about 2 miles west on the graveled Rockville Rd. located off IA Rt. 136 about 3 miles south of US 20 or 2 miles north of Worthington.

Bring all your own food and camping gear. However, during your RSVP to Bill, you MIGHT learn that he will prepare some Dutch Oven meal items. Directions to the Don and Annette Evens cabin, if individually needed, can be obtained from Bill. Also, double check with Bill regarding the nature of the "good lane" trailer camping access.

Sunday's continuation of the trip will go to just north of Cascade and end with a Class 1 rapids... which could get you wet!

This trip is featured in the new edition of Paddle Iowa. A route map can be obtained in advance from Bill or at the start of the trip.

RSVP CONTACT: Bill Jamison

June 23, Saturday
National Wildlife Federation's "Great American Backyard Campout"
If you would like to participate and need a big backyard, you would be welcome to primitive camp at any one of a variety of locations at Dick and Jane Worm's Faraway Farm that Friday and/or Saturday night. Camping location options include: on the pond's dam; at one of a variety of sites on the Mississippi River bluff; on the edge of a prairie; or in the woods. Dick even has a variety of tents that could be made available. Bring some loppers and Dick could also aim you toward some easy to find invading Autumn Olive bushes that you could lop away on to your heart's content! :)

Contact Dick Worm by June 7 (or after June 18).

July 7 - 14, Saturday - Saturday
10th Annual Project AWARE River Clean-up: Iowa River from Dows to Marshalltown
For information about Iowa's national award-winning river clean-up project and to register for the 2012 Project AWARE, visit the web site . Over 90 miles of the Iowa River in central Iowa will be the benefactor.

You need not have your own canoe (which will hold more debris than a kayak) because canoes will be provided as needed. the only cost to a participant is the option for utilizing catered meals. Camping gear is shuttled from campsite to campsiste along the route at no charge. A shuttle service between the beginning point and end is available. Participants can spend from one day to the entire week on the project. Evening programs provide interesting and entertaining opportunities throughout the trip.

Come to our April 24 program/meeting to learn more from those of us who have participated for the full week in as many as 6 of the past 9 yearly events.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how this event went. I can see that there's quite a number of destinations and instructions. I hope they made some printed instructions like what we did with some of our brochure printing sydney so as to accommodate for those who may come late.