Yesterday I was back at Zaleski State Forest and did a 6-mile barefoot hike, with about a mile of bushwhacking. This time I was crossing back and forth over Hewitt Run, which is a tributary to Raccoon Creek. This also meant that I was on the seam between the area of the Zaleski Backpacking Trail and the northern edge of the Bridle Trails, so I spent time on both (and bushwhacked between the two). It was also a 90° day.
I parked along Raccoon Creek near Lookout Rock (hence the title of this entry—more about Lookout Rock below), and headed down the bridle trail towards Hewitt Run. I have mentioned before the terrible damage horses’ hooves do to the trails, in Mudfooting at Zaleski. And it was pretty bad here, too, even though things have been somewhat drier than earlier in the season. This is not a particularly good photo, but you can get an idea of the way the trail is chewed up.
If you look carefully to the right you can see this ridge-like formation caused by the horses’ hooves. It looks to me as if the horses try to step just in front of the high part, and then their hooves sink into the low part. But it makes a really gloppy mess to try to walk through:
I try to walk on the top of the ridges (if there is no other choice). It is usually drier, and my (comparatively) wide and weight-spreading foot often won’t sink into it.
In the photos you can also see how the path gets widened by everybody walking to the sides trying to avoid the mess.
What I did next was head over to the Rew Overlook (named after the owner long ago, William W. Rew), which is right near point #2 on the Zaleski Backpacking Trail Map. Anybody who has done the backpacking trail should be familiar with the spot, and this photo should look familiar:
If you look down over the edge, this is what you see (it’s about, what?, 30 feet down?):
That’s not the way I arrived though. I approached it from below. I had crossed Hewitt Run and worked my way up the hillside. It is always an interesting exercise to find a particular goal while bushwhacking. Anyways, here the one of the rock formations from below. This is the tip of the ridge that Rew Overlook is on:
And then here is looking up at the Rew Overlook from below. If you look carefully you can see some of the same rock stains on both the picture from above and below.
Yes, I’ve presented these pictures out of the order I took them in. I started below, then clambered up to take the pictures from above.
My hike finished at Lookout Rock. It’s really not much of a rock, all things considered (particularly when compared to Hocking Hills). But it’s not too bad for Zaleski. Here’s what it looks like when approaching from the road:
And coming from the other direction:
If you climb up on top of the rock, you can look back down at the road:
I really have no idea what folks looked out for from atop Lookout Rock. I tried researching it but came out empty. But here is what you can see while standing on it:
That’s a few towards (more or less) Raccoon Creek. I really need to get back there during the winter or early spring to try to take a picture without all the leaves.
Finally, at the end, I came across a rafter of turkeys! Here you go:
I mentioned before that it was a 90° day. I thought I was drinking enough, having 2 liters of water with me. However, near the end I was getting really tired, and figured it was from dehydration (so I made sure to finish drinking up all my water). I had happened to weigh myself just before heading out, so I weighed myself upon getting home. I’d lost 3 pounds. Since I doubt it was fat being burned, at the end there I was down 3 pounds of water (or about another liter and a half).