TIM KAUGER
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Split Rock Reservoir

Morning hikes are my favorite of all. Probably because I'm never awake early enough to enjoy them!

I finally shook off the webs of sleep to join my friend Nate this morning for a hike around Split Rock Reservoir, a sprawling lake just a few miles off of the local interstate. Unfortunately for us, the majority of the hiking trails were blocked by construction. So we did the next logical thing -- hike around the shoreline of the lake, which had receded by about fifteen or so feet since I was last there.

It's eerie to walk around a lake that has been partially drained. For one thing, we got a hands-on history lesson in older beer bottles, which had all sunk to the bottom of the lake, now embedded in soil. More interesting, however, were the endless petrified tree trunks -- like sea glass, they were all rounded off and smooth from the many seasons' worth of water, ice and air they've endured. Pretty neat stuff.

We soldiered on until, quite literally, I became stuck between a rock and a hard place. While attempting to gingerly wash off my boots at the edge of the lake, I sort of...sank into the soil. Before I could even react, I was knee deep in old Split Rock Reservoir mud.

Once I laid down on the rocks directly behind me, I pulled my boots and jeans out of the lakebed slop. I tried to slosh onwards with a clay-like mixture of dirt in my boots, but it was to no avail. I was done for the day. Luckily we were parked a mere half mile from the site of my sinking.

Despite that, I got a few neat shots of the place on my iPhone. We have another visit planned for a few days from now; unless I can walk directly on rocks, I won't be within 5 feet of the water. I learned my lesson. 

 

Photo Credit: Nate Aron