It is once again possible to leave the house to go for a hike at 3 p.m. and have plenty of daylight left and then some. That’s what we did on Saturday. The last leg of the drive out toward the St. Croix valley had five humans and two dogs in the station wagon “Apollo.” There were three or four other vehicles at the usually empty parking area, the warm spring sun and the cool spring breeze had drawn many of us today.
We hiked across the top of the falls and then down the top of the valley to near its bottom. We paused there on top of the ridge as it dropped, a big valley on either side of us, each with sandstone cliffs and waterfalls at the top of each. The one on our left was a much shorter gully and the ledge where its water would fall has been dry for a long time, but its valley remained.
We dropped over the edge to our right, the falls back a half-mile. We had walked across them at the beginning and would now walk back up in the valley. Little flowers, more delicate than egg shells but of similar color, here and there sprouted from underneath the leaf litter at the base of the sandy cliffs.