This was one of my favorite places to go hiking in Iowa (during the late 1990s). The trail leads to the center of a ‘U’ shaped cliff created by some form of mining or long-dead quarry. The machines had not cut into this section of earth for many decades, so the trees, plants and wildlife were happily re-establishing themselves in the relative quiet.
The cliffs had little openings that looked as though they were trying to become small caves. From time to time I heard people mumbling about large native cats moving back into the area and creating homes inside those mini ‘caves.’ During my many explorations, I never saw proof of anything more dangerous than a deer or a stray dog.
It was a nice place to visit during weekday afternoons and weekend mornings, when few (if any) people were using the park. Often, the remains of a campfire would sit cold inside a ring of rocks set close to the side of the cliffs. Sometimes a few beer cans would be scattered around the fire ring. I often suspected the teenagers ventured into the area at night and held clandestine parties, but I never asked around or took a nighttime walk down these trails, so I can’t say for sure.
(C) Adora Myers 2014