To get to the second box canyon, we could retrace our steps, but we can also hang on to the cliffs and find our way along them.
We are not talking about a single cliff — the entire area is fortified with vertical walls and overhanging cliffs. Who needs a shell like this?
There is a strange geometric esthetics in these pictures, as if rock faces and trees align — for what?
These questions have no meaning here.
The walls dominate everything, there seems to be neither sky nor solid ground. Still — there is water coming from above, and the trees must have roots somewhere. Life exists, despite the walls, thanks to the walls.
The sheer existence overwhelms — no purpose beyond this is necessary.
We have arrived. We will need to look and see what awaits us here.
The Yellow Birch Ravine is a nature preserve in southern Indiana that isn’t heavily advertised. The official web site has a paragraph about it, stating it’s noted for its rugged beauty.
The preserve is divided in half by its access road, the Trestle Road, with a small parking lot that fits maybe 3 cars and comes with a small sign, telling you what not to do. It feels like meeting a stranger.
How do I introduce this new acquaintance of mine? How do we form opinions about a new place or a person?
There are no marked trails (or a map), just paths from visitors who knew what to do.
We essentially follow the available paths along the creeks up into the box canyons, and accept what we find.
So this is how it looks like — it takes a while (a decade, for me) to get used to the subdued beauty of a landscape like this.
Is this it? From these images, it’s impossible to judge. In the background one can spot some rock formations, but is it worth probing deeper?
Up in the first box canyon, looking back, we see that the sun is coming up. Still there is no hint of what to expect. We will have to go all the way.