The area to the west and east of the Rock River consists of outwash sediments from ice melting and retreating from the Johnstown Moraine. Continued melting channeled the water and began to down cut the outwash surface eventually creating the Rock River Valley. The terrace which was left behind was once the former floodplain. There is a steep cliff from the river’s edge to top of a terrace. The Devil’s Staircase is a small gully with a bit of a talus which can be seen while walking along the trail.
Gully comes from the French word goulet, which means throat. They resemble large ditches or small valleys. It is created by water eroding sharply into the soil.
Talus is a French word for slope or embankment. It is created when joints or cracks in rock allow water to penetrate and freeze. The freezing and thawing loosens blocks of bed rock on a cliff which then tumbles down by gravity to form an accumulation of boulders.
IATCC is the cache designation to highlight a series of EarthCaches along the ICE AGE National Scenic TRAIL grouped into a special category called "COLDCACHE." The Ice Age Trail is one of eleven National Scenic Trails designated by the National Park Service. This unique trail is entirely within the state of Wisconsin and follows along the terminal moraine of the most recent glacier which retreated about 10,000 years ago.
This project is supported by the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA). The goal is to bring more visitors to the trail and promote public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Wisconsin’s glacial landscape.
The IATA has created an awards program to encourage visits to the trail and ColdCache sites. This awards program is separate from, and in addition to, any other Geo- or EarthCache awards program. A current list of approved ColdCache sites can be found on the “IATCC - ColdCache" Bookmark List.
More information on the Ice Age Trail Atlas, the Companion Guide, the ColdCache Project and Awards Program can be found on the “ColdCache Webpage”
Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail; by David M. Mickelson, Louis J. Maher Jr., and Susan L. Simpson
Western Governors University
1. At Devil’s Staircase; are you looking up or down a gully?
2. Estimate the height, width, and depth of the inside dimensions of the archway.