Just a few days ago, there was more than 2 feet of snow in the yard. David and I woke up to 6 inches of fresh, heavy snow, then a few days later, 10 inches more! It was late April and we were beginning to think winter would never end. It looked like this:
Watching the weather, we learned that on Friday the temperatures would soar into the 70s! I sat on the deck in my warm, brown metal chair listening to the sounds of the snow melting. I thought about all that snow, melting and rushing downstream. More snow than we have had on the ground at once in a long time, and it would melt rapidly, perhaps causing flooding. Perfect conditions to do the Waterfall tour!
So Dani (my ski/bike buddy) and I headed out on another adventure. Of course, we bit off more than we could chew. We planned on 5 different streams with falls, but only made it to two. It didn’t matter, we’ll get to the others another day. We drove to far Northern Wisconsin to our first stop. I will incriminate myself; we trespassed. Any good geo-girl knows sometimes that happens, some of the best waterfalls have hydroelectric dams which means, if you want to see the beauty, you must trespass. So we walked around the gate, clutching the fence so we wouldn’t fall down the steep, tree laden embankment to the rushing river below. And it was extremely steep, the type that if you slip, you die. Hence the fence! Then down 133 slippery stairs; don’t do this if you’re afraid of heights! But the result was well worth the danger. On the bridge, the roar of the falls was deafening. The spray was in our face, even though the falls were plenty far away. I have been to this spot three or four times, after heavy rains, but never have I seen energy like this.
We stood on the bridge silently for several minutes, then headed back up the stairs. When we reached the top, legs quivering, 4 cars of young men arrive, some with kayaks. We made our way around the precarious steep slope clinging to the fence. After our hello’s, one young man walks over and opens the gate to the steps. What? You mean that padlock wasn’t locked? Well, whatever. On to the next falls!
We drove another 30 miles east to Bessemer, MI. This area gets copious amounts of lake-effect snow from the open waters of Lake Superior. The first trail at the Conglomerate Falls parking area was full, so on to the next! We were certain we wouldn’t be the only ones crazy enough to tromp through snow and ice to witness bankfull and flood-stage waterfalls! It was amazing to be standing on top of 12 inches of snow in the woods, and have a *very warm* 70+ degree breeze flow over your body. We could hear the thunder of the falls from the parking lot, but first had to hike through the unplowed lot to get there. The snow was pretty stiff, but occasionally, your foot would break through and sink a foot or two! But what a reward when we finally got there! Absolutely awesome.