Return To Mossy Glenn

Return To Mossy Glenn

It had been eleven months since we last visited Mossy Glen Preserve near Strawberry Point Iowa.  Today we decided to return and visit the place where time stands still.  There are no trails going down the steep slopes to the valley floor.  The only access is to follow animal trails down the terrain, watching for fallen limbs and using care so as not to brush your arms against the wood nettles that carpet the forest floor.

This is place of abundant lime mosses, olive colored lichens and emerald ferns, a place where the only sounds are the babbling waters of a spring flowing never ending down the slabs of broken 430 million-year-old dolomite, as big as cars.  This takes place in steeply dissected ravines unscathed by the scraping of ancient glaciers of eons ago today known as the driftless zone.  This is a place opened up by the slow erosion of timeless raindrops still taking place today.

This is a land that time forgot and it perpetuates its existence as it has for millennium.  This is place where large millipedes slither along on the sodden surface, slowly consuming decaying vegetation.  This is a place where the sunlight scarcely shines upon the ground.   This is a special place in Iowa untouched by human hands for the most part.

Many sites on the internet say this place is haunted by a ghost of a woman who threw herself into the abyss years ago.  Some say she wanders the woods in the present day; Lucinda was her name, as legend goes.  I say the only ghosts here are echoes of prehistoric times.  I did see spirits, the ghosts of ancient coral beds and shellfish that once swam in the shallow seas here, during the early stages of developing life on planet earth.  I saw the ghosts of trees broken and lying across the stream, slowly returning back to the soil which gave it nourishment.  No human ghosts roam here other than the ones contained within visitors vivid imaginations.

Want to see what the past looks like, venture down the Silurain Escarpment, hike through the red oaks and sugar maples, and walk upstream, it is then that you will find a hidden gem, tucked away in a remote spot in NE Iowa know as Mossy Glen.


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