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Reno Recon & Haunting Peeps TR!!!
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“Missing the moola to go to Kettle Moraine this past weekend, but wanting to get out in the superb weather, I decided a local trip was in order. I managed to get hold of superbee, twist his arm and so it was we met around noon Saturday at the Reno Unit of the Richard J. Dorer Forest in extreme southeastern Minnesota, on the Mississippi River.
The overnight trip was filled with gunshots, cats, fog and haunting Peeps. (What was it we called them? Particularly paunchy Peeps?? LOL… I know that’s not right, but darned if I can remember. Well, I do remember using “puking” in the name.)
We met at the main, south camping area. Left a vehicle there and took the other to the north camping area. The reason to wear orange was quickly apparent. It was small game season, as well as some type of waterfowl season, also. Hmong hunters were everywhere, as well as a few others. We were very pleased when the hunter we met on the trail – and who later showed up, gun in hand, at our campsite probably 3 miles later – did not either shoot us then, nor did he show up later to murder us in the night. Success!
We hiked the many ups and downs – steep uphills of probably 300 feet and the same going down – over and over again. I kept my eyes stuck on the trail for badass rocks, with that tricky ankle of mine. I had it taped (I guess you could call it that… was pretty haphazard!) and it wore pretty well. We agreed the first campsite on the trail (farthest north) sucked. Campsite No. 2 was pretty nice. Campsite No. 3 at the extreme southern end was very small, but had a nice fire ring. It would be better in the spring, I think, with more spots not grown over with weeds.
But, my oh my! We dropped the packs at No. 3 and then walked a non-marked footpath to head down to what I remembered from my last trip there (around 10 years ago or so) as a spectacular rock overlook of a wide valley below. Time hadn’t faded those memories!! There was the valley and the coulees and steep-sided, forested hills rising up from them. The only, and I mean ONLY bad thing? The leaves had not yet peaked for color. There was still a lot of green. MAYBE next weekend?!?!?
PEEPS REQUEST AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Dinner was spent torturing Peeps and picking sticky things off clothes (from gathering wood for the fire in the underbrush. DAMN STICKY THINGS! I hate weeds!). The wood was unbelievably dry and burned unbelievably fast!
Oh yeah, and there was the “cat incident.” All of a sudden we heard what appeared to be a big cat!!!! ……………….. OK, well maybe it was a housecat – female, I presume – in heat. Caterwauling (however that might be spelled). Yes, ohhhhhhhhh scary animals of the Minnesota woods. BOO! We tried to call it, but it was desperately in need of a tom.
Speaking of animals, when sitting on the rock, a big hawk flew out from below us. When I saw it from the side, it was H-U-G-E! I’m pretty sure it was either a golden eagle or a young bald eagle. Also, we heard coyotes pretty close.
I was a little bit cold sleeping; what else is new?? I even had toe warmers!! LOL… and it was probably above 37 or so out. I used the Henry Shires Tarp Tent. Superbee had something he was having a helluva time setting up, even though it appeared to be a simple free-standing tent! Ask him about his innovation for a pillow!
CATHEDRAL OF THE OUTDOORS
Got up around 9:30. AHHHHHH!!! A perfect Sunday morning for lizs! LOL! We saw there was a heavy cloud mist in the valley that the sun would soon burn off. We hustled to the rock overlook. It was gorgeous, ethereal and other adjectives for heavenly… all you could see was the tip-top of the ridges across the valley. Couldn’t even see the Mighty Miss at all! I woulda killed to have my broken camera not broken and there. I woulda burned through a 512 MB card in no time on highest quality!
Alas, I only had a little camera and its battery died after one shot. AAACK! So we just sat and watched the process of it burning off. It only took maybe 45 minutes. From thick, fairy-tale-land mist to the still-beautiful hills and valleys in their green. I may have to head back there next weekend and cross my fingers for similar weather.
Then we packed up and hiked out, but not before superbee left ghostly Peeps in the trees to haunt the site. BOO! It was maybe a mile. As we headed back to the vehicle in the north lot, we stopped and hiked actual trails to another overlook. I told him about this cave below and we tiptoed the narrow path and slid down a rock – making good use of the rope tied to a tree – to get down. Superbee liked the cave. Although “Kenny”’s name is now just “Enny.” The sandstone is that easily marked. Lotsa names and pseudo rock art.
Then we went around the front side of an adjoining bluff… and on and on and on (who knew lizs is so brave at times??!?!) Finally we managed to get back up on top at Hell’s Hollow.
We debated going on to Fairy Rock (apparently the "still in the closet" metrosexual hangout, lol), which is another non-marked trail. Went across one steep hollow and realized it would take another… and then a steep upclimb. So that will wait for another day.
Then it was off for sandwiches and brewskies.
So…. next spring, perhaps, watch for the Reno trip! It’s been “reconned!”
last edited: 10/16/05 11:32:37 PM”
“Photos (and just WTF is up with Webshots???!? These all uploaded in a totally random order and I had to spend more time trying to get them in the right order)
“OOPS! Try this link instead:
“Cool pics liz. So did you find yourself a new digtal camera?”
Nice TR. Thanks for posting it.”
“Webshots has been pi$$ing me off lately too, like right now trying to view your pics! Great TR lizs---I hope to make it out that way for one of your hikes next spring.”
“SvenGolly (lol, LOVE that name!), hope you can come on a trip, too. It just might be Reno, now that I've checked trails I really needed to check.
Flasher, see the reconditioned G6 thread about the camera question. I used a crappy little digital over the weekend. UGH! But will be getting a re-conditioned (read that as "someone else dropped it, not me") G6, the model that replaced the G5. Coming Friday.
YIPPEEE!! Can't wait!”
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