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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

IAT: Dells of the Eau Claire Segment

The winter weather has definitely been keeping me from hitting the trails that I had planned to hike this month. But Sunday was such a gorgeous day, I wasn't going to let my fear of poor travel conditions keep me inside! Instead, we headed to familiar Dells of the Eau Claire County Park where I knew there would be parking available and hopefully good hiking trail conditions.


It was an odd experience descending the staircase from the parking area to the river and not hearing a sound. Typically these falls are so loud you can't hear anything but the roar of water over these 1.8-billion-year-old bedrocks. Because of the recent extremely low temperatures, the river was mostly frozen over.


There were snowmobile trails and snowshoe tracks criss-crossing the river everywhere. Many snowshoers were out enjoying the trails; we even saw people hiking with their dogs on the river!


The rock formations along the river trail were an unusual shade of white, blanketed in a fuzzy coat of ice crystals. I noticed several handprints in the ice on the rocks, so I added mine as well.


Thanks to previous hiking and snowshoe traffic, the trails were nicely packed down and easy to hike. Charlie was grateful to be outside now that the worst of the cold weather was over. With temps in the mid-30's on this beautiful day, it almost felt like spring!


Snow fell from pine boughs as the temperatures continued to warm and occasionally you could hear a soft "PUFF" as the snow fell off the branches and onto the ground. Luckily I didn't get hit with any of this falling snow, but we did have a few close calls!


We made it all the way through the Ice Age Trail segment and then back-tracked to the parking lot. It was such a beautiful and mild day that I didn't want the hike to end, but I was sore and tired by the time we got back and was glad to be back in the car.


Charlie slept peacefully on the front seat all the way home and continued her nap on the large dog pillow in the living room for the rest of the day. A tired puppy is a happy puppy!

TRAIL VIDEO:


6 comments:

  1. I am in love with your trails!!! Hiking in the snow is one of my favorite types of hikes. The weather has also kept us from hitting the trails on the weekend. Is that a Ruffwear harness Charlie is wearing? I have been debating on getting one for Teach, but haven't done it yet. I like the looks of it.

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    1. Hi Rebecca! I agree with you... hiking in snow is so peaceful! I love and highly recommend Ruffwear gear - especially the Web Master Harness and Roamer Leash for hiking. I don't know what I would do without these!
      I'm an affiliate advertiser for Ruffwear because I believe in their products, so if you're interested in checking them out, there is a link at the top of my page. If you decide to purchase something, I get a tiny percentage of sales when you follow that link to their website! Email me at heather@hikingwithheather.com if you have any questions about the harness or other products!

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    2. I too LOVE Ruffwear. Teach has a pack, the knot-a-collar and leash and another leash I can't recall the name of. Now the next time I go to purchase I will go from your site ... glad to help someone out!

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  2. Dells of the Eau Claire park is one of my favorite spots to photograph. It's fairly accessible, loaded with Trilliums in the spring, and just a wonderful place to visit. I fell in love with the Eau Claire river 13 years ago. We drive over from Crivitz at least six times a year!

    Bob LeHew and Nancy Patterson

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    1. We are so lucky to have beautiful "gems" like this in Wisconsin! Glad you are able to visit this park so often... maybe we'll see you there sometime!

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