On May Day I headed back to Clear Creek Metro Park just to work out a few kinks in my system, and to experiment with my pack a bit. This time I was carrying about 38 pounds.
Spring was continuing to pop.
I only did about 4 miles of hiking, but I had two pretty good ascents. One was from 780 feet in elevation to 1140 (360 feet) and the other was from around 800 to about 1080 (280). That’ll get your heart pumping.
The dogwoods were in bloom.
There were trilliums (trillia?) everywhere.
I even passed by a couple of Jacks-in-the-Pulpit.
When I was on the O’Meara O’Vencha Hike 2½ weeks ago, I took a picture of the skunk cabbage at Lake Ramona.
Here’s the updated version.
It’s really coming along.
One feature that Clear Creek has that is always interesting is the Water Horsetail. This is a gymnosperm (gymosperm: naked seed) that reproduces via spores, so it belongs to an ancient class of plants. It is also called scourbrush. It has a very high silica content, sand, and was used by Native Americans and early settlers to clean and scrape things.
One thing that you can see in this picture (in addition to the horsetail) is that Clear Creek isn’t very clear. It used to be, when it was named, but these days with all the farms upstream a lot of mud and silt gets into it. The hillside streams that feed it are still clear, though.
Here’s the creek that runs alongside the bottom of the Hemlock Trail.
Crystal clear. It also give you a glimpse of the Blackhand Sandstone formations in the park. They’re not super-spectacular but are nonetheless pretty typical. You can even see a small recess cave heading back in to the rock (about 8 feet).
One nice thing about this hike is that I could do it much more leisurely than the Adventure Hikes. On those hikes we are really trucking, so most of my photos tend to be where we stop at a particular feature, or the picnic area. Here I had a chance just to stop when I felt like it.
Here’s a close-up view of the previous photograph showing all the growth on the rock face, and a little waterfall.
I am actually quite fortunate to have such a pretty and engaging park within 45 minutes of my home.