Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mother's Day Hike ~ West Branch Preserve

Little bluets (Housonia caerulea)
Thank you all for the positive response to my last post. It rocketed right up almost to the top most-viewed post. Now I know all I have to do to get people to read my blog is make big, dramatic announcements. And now you know why we've been going on all those hikes lately. They're not quite as long or rigorous as they should be for training purposes, but they're the best we can fit into our schedule.

Sessile-leaved bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia)

On Sunday we headed out for a short hike after a breakfast of eggs benedict and horchata made for me by Z and C. I had in mind a fire tower we'd been to some years ago, but I couldn't remember exactly where it was. I found a fire tower on the map in the town I thought it might be in, so we headed there and hiked up the road only to find the fire tower had been replaced by a cell phone tower. While technology can bring us lots of really amazing virtual experiences (you might be reading this post on a cell phone right now), it's kind of sad when it displaces an actual, visceral experience like climbing up the stairs of a fire tower and looking out over trees and hills to see mountains in another state.

Anyway, after the fire tower letdown, we headed down the road to a nearby preserve. It's an area we hadn't been to before and didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be really beautiful, with a remote feeling to it--very quiet and mossy and wild. Maybe the low, nearly-raining clouds added to that feeling.

We didn't bring any food with us, and hadn't planned for an extended trek, so we just did a quick out-and-back on part of the trail, but from the map it looks like you could get a several-mile hike in if you followed all of the loops. We might go back soon, better prepared, to do just that.

Rosy twisted stalk (Streptopus roseus)

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