Thursday, March 22, 2012

Winter 2012 Outing Reports

Outings provide opportunities to "Explore and Enjoy." And the camaraderie helps to pointedly prod us to, also, "Protect."

The January 27-29 Backbone Cabin Outing was greeted with a timely snowfall that made the skiing and snowshoeing conditions near perfect! An off-trail exploration led 13 of us to impressive overlooks. There was plenty of space to spread out for the 11 overnighters, including 3 from the Quad Cities and 1 from Iowa City. Alaine Jamison's menu preparation for Saturday's dinner was very much enjoyed! Past Iowa Chapter Chair Jerry Neff mastered the crevice slide. "Upwords" game was a tuffy!

The February 11 Yellow River State Forest Outing became an educational trek unofficially led by Sierra members and YRSF experts Larry and Betty Maslo of Waukon. Never before noticed features along the circuit north of Big Paint Creek came alive! An early evening trek to the Fire Tower included a sunset view from Cedar Point Overlook. The Lofty Haven "cabin" at the Natural Gait served as a mid-afternoon break and comfortable Friday and Saturday overnight accommodations.

Dave Hansen of Masonville, Jim Fahrion, and Dick Worm each made a bluebird house on March 17 between the two high border circuit hikes at Swiss Valley Park. Some minor trail work and fallen tree removal added a bit more satisfaction to scenes of the already blooming wildflowers and the heaps of gravel outwash along Catfish Creek from last year's flood. A crinoid fossil spotted among a zillions of the rocks was donated to the Nature Center.

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