Yesterday Columbus Metro Parks had a short organized hike up to Memory Rock. One nice thing about Memory Rock (in rememberance of the property owners who donated much of the park land) is that it gives a nice view of a long stretch of the Clear Creek Valley.
The temperature was around 35°, which wasn’t too bad except we were also stopping to examine various evergreens in the park. In order to keep bare feet warm, it helps to keep moving and pumping warm blood through them.
Here’s a view of the topography with the park boundary marked in black:
You can see the ridge that runs north/south right up the park. Off to the west is Clear Creek, and off to the east is Thomas Run.
Here’s the view looking northwest from the ridge at the Clear Creek valley:
Off in the distance you can see a rock they call Buzzard’s Roost; they often have organized hikes there, too.
Okay, I’ve pulled the same trick here that I did in What’s Wrong with Salt Creek? That first image does not show the actual topography; this one does:
And the reason is the same as it was for Salt Creek. The first image shows how things were (more or less) 20,000 years ago, before glaciers. When the glaciers came they made it just to the foothills to the west, and dammed up the outflow. That formed a glacial lake that eventually overtopped the low point on the north/south ridge and eroded a narrow path through it, making everything flow eastward. In addition, it left glacial deposits underneath that raised the elevation there. Thus, even when the glaciers melted, the water continued to flow only to the east, along what used to be Thomas Run. [I just cannot figure out how they know what the name of that creek was 20,000 years ago. Did they find an old sign? ;-) ]
I’ve also marked on that map the location of Memory Rock, and you can see the topography looking northeast of there.
There were some interesting things to see there. Along the hike we came across more Spotted Wintergreen (or False Winter, or Striped Wintergreen) like I saw in Bochfoot. We also saw some Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina):
There was also an interesting mushroom that one of the volunteers called “hotlips”:
However, when I look up “hotlips” mushrooms, they look nothing like that. So I have no idea what that really is.
Today I am heading back to Clear Creek for another one of those 15-mile hikes in which MetroParks’ Executive Director is Training for Mt. Everest. Forecast temperatures are for between 25° and 32°. That’s below what I’ve hiked in before, so we will see how it goes (and yes, I will bring footwear with me in case I need it—I May Be Crazy But I’m Not Stupid).
I will just need to keep repeating my mantra for the day: “sherpa, sherpa, sherpa.”