White Pine Hollow State Preserve, Iowa -----

After a week in Chicago I was longing for a real nature experience, away from urban areas, and I don’t know any better place around here than White Pine Hollow State Preserve near Luxemburg, Iowa. This is rugged terrain and getting down to the bottom of this canyon took some hiking efforts and requires solid boots and an outfit that can withstand thorns and stinging nettles. If you make it, you will be rewarded by solitude and a beautiful nature. The recent flash flood has changed the canyon, rocks have been moved and some of the gullies are a lot deeper. The leaves have started falling off the trees, although we don’t have really fall colors here yet.

Contrast becomes very high if the sun is out and exposure can be a problem. Starting the hike in the afternoon, when the light became softer but still reached the bottom of the canyon, was the way to go today.