Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Devil's Staircase Trail

Segment of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail - Janesville, Wisconsin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013, six of the grandchildren, Uncle Kyle, and I took a hike along Devil's Staircase Trail. We were here last fall and saw the trail with the beautiful autumn colors. It looks much different in its green splendor.
 We began our hike in Riverside Park.

 The staircases leads to the trail. The children have often posed on staircases, so they know how to pose here. They line up with oldest at the top....down to the youngest. So we have Douglas 9, Charles 8, Jacob 6, Wesley 6, Diana 4, and Aaron 4.
 When the clicking was done...they took off up the stairs.
 They posed again at the top.
 It is so pretty up here. As we head off on the trail, the high rocks are to our left.
 Looks like they are having a discussion about who should lead the way. But where is Douglas?
Charles leads this part of the group. But Wesley is out ahead, and Douglas is off WAY ahead.
FIRST excursion off the path.
 Wesley's find.
 Diana and Aaron making their way back to the trail.
 Charles leads the way.
 Off to our right is a steep tree filled slope down to the Rock River.
The Rock River
 Off the trail again. This time they are following a muddy "path" made by erosion.
 Coming back down the "path" often involves sliding.
 While waiting at the bottom, Uncle Kyle notices some tracks. Obviously deer like this "path" up the hill.
 One of many interesting trees.
 There was quite a discussion about what animal might like this for a home.
 Wesley makes another find.
 The river below.
 Uncle Kyle follows the troops.
 Another off-trail expedition to explore this gully of leaves and branches. It was a good place for everyone to pick up a walking stick.
 Out of the gully and back to the trail....but they have walking sticks!
Wesley is always stopping to see what may be hiding in the dirt.
 Wesley stopped here to give me a lecture about why all these stone, roots (he called them sticks) were important. He told me the trees could tip over and kill us if more of the dirt washes away.
I think Wesley has the general idea. Erosion is quite a problem in spots along the trail.
 Another spot investigated.
 Off again with Charles in the lead.
 Diana shouts, "Hey, boys! Aren't you interested in this paper I found?" They weren't...they just kept going. So Diana shared it with Uncle Kyle and I.
 The rocks are so interesting.
 The rocks are all covered in green.
 A cave??? Who might live in here?
 Douglas is now leading the troops.
 Another spot to explore. Let's see if we can find a different route up instead of following the trail...
 Wesley and Charles make it up and back to the trail.
Jacob, Diana and Douglas make it up and back to the trail too.
Aaron makes it with a little help from Dad. Grandma was the only one who stayed on the trail and took the easier way up the rocky steps.
 Aaron and Diana try to throw rocks down to the river.
Jacob comes back to the trail after another exploring mission.
The children check out a cave.
 Everyone gets a bit ahead because I stop to take pictures.
 Notice the trail sign on the tree points DOWN, but where do the children go?? UP!!! Of course, there seems to be a path to climb and climb it they must.
 These rocky steps go down. This is where the arrow is telling us to go.
Jacob comes down so we can all go along the rocky steps DOWN following the trail.
 Most are now down the "steps."
Here comes Jacob! Grandma waited until everyone else was down.
 We are now much closer to the river.
 Now the children can throw some rocks in the river.
 The trail leads up again.
 Douglas finds these rocks that he can just crumble.
 We decide it is time to turn around and head back.
 Now the high rocks are on our right.
 Much of the trail is fairly easy walking.
Jacob gets a lift from his dad. Douglas makes a "find."
 Douglas loves moss.
 Lots of moss grows on the rocks.
 Looking down to the Rock River.
 Diana and Aaron coming back down after another explore.
A little sliding in the mud was involved in the coming down.
"Do you think Mom will notice?"  Actually most of the mud was rubbed off as they played in the sand back at Riverside Park.
Uncle Kyle rests while he waits for the rest of the children to make it back down from the latest explore. The children had to tell him he was resting his foot on the "toilet." They had named this stump the last time we were here. They were disappointed that half of it had rotted away.
Aaron and Jacob slide down.
 The trail ahead...
 A couple last looks at the rocks.
 Back to our starting point. Uncle Kyle takes a picture of Grandma and the children.
Back down Devil's Staircase.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mary, I so enjoy looking at all your pictures of Janesville! I loved there in 68 while my dad was in Vietnam. I found your blog researching becoming a homeschool grandmother.