Every hike I do cannot be a major exploration of places I’ve never been to before. Sometimes it’s just nice to wander along familiar pathways.
And with spring busting out all over, there is plenty of discovery in that.
Yesterday was just a “quick” hike (6½) miles at Clear Creek. I took the longest path possible without repeating myself.
For some reason, I just hate repeating myself by hiking over the same territory on the same hike. If possible I’ll find a loop to keep from repeating myself. Repeating myself is just boring. Repeating myself means seeing the same stuff. I just really hate repeating myself.
Oh, God, I’m repeating myself.
[H/T: What’s Up, Doc?]
Anyways, up the Cemetery Ridge Trail, down the Fern, up the other leg of the Fern, along the Hemlock, and back to the beginning.
The top of Cemetery Ridge Trail has a few places with deep ruts (from maintenance of the well-heads or pipelines up there). This time of year they are often still filled with water, and this time of year that means
It is just the perfect time of year to be up there. The trees are just starting to bloom and/or produce leave, so there are all these pastels through the woods, but the leaves are not too thick, so you can also easily see the topography. It’s the best of both worlds.
You can see the tint of a red maple ahead, and a hint of green leaves farther along. To the right a tree is blooming.
That is a very early bloom, not fully white, on a dogwood (I’m pretty sure).
Farther along the trail is a splash of white down a hillside. From a distance and regarding its shape, I’m guessing that is a pin or choke cherry. Since Clear Creek is a Nature Preserve, leaving the trail is not allowed so all I could do is guess from the distance.
Along the Hemlock Trail there are a lot of . . . hemlocks (Tsuga Canadiensis). These trees were pushed down south by the glaciers, and still remain in various valleys that stay cooler. Hemlocks even “sweat”, putting water into the air to keep their local environment cooler.
I should also mention that Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills is really named after hemlocks. The early pioneers just called practically any evergreen that wasn’t a pine or spruce a “cedar”.
As you can see, I’m wearing a real backpack. That’s my trusty old Jansport external frame pack. I figure it’s probably 30 years old or so. I put on a few too many pounds over the winter, and being able to carry a bit of extra weight helps me pare that down. I’m carrying about 35 pounds in that picture.
Folks will sometimes ask about backpacking in bare feet, and how they handle it. Bare feet backpack just fine. The extra weight really isn’t much of a problem, as long as you train up for it. (Another way of looking at it is that if you lose 10 pounds, carrying a 35 pound pack is really like carrying only a 25 pound pack.)
Anyways, bare feet really don’t have a problem with the extra weight.
Now if I could just say the same about my lungs . . .