The Rope-a-Dopes Tour St. Croix

How many times have you drove by the Gypsum Cliffs just off Exit#4 and wished you could climb up those cliffs and go looking for the reputed bat caves up top?

Well, today, a small 'croo of hearty Gonzo did just that. In the lead vehicle we had Dipper and the Rocket, followed by Sungod and Dr. J. The chase vehicle occupants had a tough day, getting lost twice, needing rope support and losing a phone over a cliff (Dumb & Dumber To).

The weather worked out perfectly. Rocket took us on 3 hikes in the area (Gypsum Cliffs, Meadow Pond Quarry & Dawson Brook Falls) and even though it snowed a fair bit over the day, each of the hikes was done in glorious winter sunshine.

A great day to spend outdoors, scouting new and old hikes.

To The Bat Caves!!!

Thanks to Jim Foster, we had an idea of where to go. No pics of the ascent or hike in as we were more interested in finding the caves. We found a sloppy way up the cliff...and fixed that by identifying a better access point to go up and come down.

Hiking in a gypsum area is always fun...and a little treacherous. You have to watch your footing or can easily end up in a little sinkhole that may be a few feet deep. I have been MTB biking in this area and running these little paths between sinkholes tests your confidence.

  Looked like some sort of phosphorescence...just water

  Sungod's well-practised 5 point stance

Meadow Pond Quarry

This little hike gives you a nice sense of hiking in gypsum lands without the big elevation and footing problems up at the Bat Caves. Just a really nice 1/2 hour hike, right off the highway.

  I found another Warnica tree...against any and all odds

Dawson Brook Falls

This hike was a pleasant surprise. Gorgeous tall trees with the winter sun shing all thru the canopy and a powdery snowfall in the air. You could hear the waterfall from far away and the view was just fantastic.

There was some talk of rappelling down to the water with our fancy ropes. Considering our prior mild mishaps, probably a good thing we left it just talk.

  How close is this hike to the cars...Dr. J still has a hot coffee in hand

  Big waterfall with LOTS of flow this time of year

  Duffy is OH SO LUCKY that his phone did not tumble another 2 feet.

  There was lots of praying as it fell...or was that swearing?