Monday, November 09, 2015

Off the beaten path at Lakes Morris & Ellis

The original plan was to take a photo of Lyle Morris's commemorative panel on the north shore of Lake Morris when the hills opposite were ablaze with color --- but then I fiddled elsewhere as the leaves turned and by now, most have fallen.

But it was a lovely crisp Sunday afternoon --- so here's how it looked yesterday. There's a bit of an experiment involved in this panel. All others like it are located in the tropical Southwest Pacific --- so the test will come during an Iowa winter, although I'm sure it will be fine.

Since it was a beautiful day, I walked on out across the Lake Morris dam and into the woods on the opposite side where an unmarked trail climbs and dips through timber to connect with the Lake Ellis dam, some distance to the southwest. 

Just before you reach the Ellis dam, a path turns up hill, then meanders off for a long, long way down the timbered ridge embraced by these two sources of Chariton's water supply, both named for young men, Lyle Morris and Roy Ellis, who were among the first Lucas Countyans to die in World War II.

I climbed and continued down the ridge long enough to surprise (or be surprised by) white-tailed deer on two occasions before turning back --- it was getting a little late in the day.

There's no shortage of places to hike in Lucas County: Thousands of acres of state forest and much more public land and water besides. I wish I'd taken more time to range farther before the colors faded.

But this area between the lakes is a little off the beaten path and close to home, easily accessible to anyone willing and able to walk out across either dam.

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