Saturday, October 01, 2011

Greta's Segway Hike

Every time we are led to believe say goodbye to summer-like weather, Mother Nature throws a few more beautifully warm days at us. Such was yesterday, the last day of September, and I was geared up for a hike. I have not hiked at all this year, even though I bought myself some decent hiking shoes at the beginning of summer. Lots of lame excuses. And then, I was gifted that nifty walking stick at the beginning of the month, and it has sat by the door making me feel guilty for not trying it out. With time running out, I needed to pick a trail and go walk it.

And this is the one I chose - Greta's Segway. I'd looked for the trailhead last year and couldn't find it. Perhaps others couldn't either, because it apparently has been moved to this location (according to a sign farther up the trail). That would explain why I only now spotted it on my way to the transfer station last week. It's less than 2 miles from my house - really like not having to drive 15 to 30 minutes to get to a trail. Click on the photo for a larger view to read the details of this trail.

There's parking for 6 or so vehicles off to the left. I looked at this road rising steeply up through the trees and thought the bulk of the elevation change might come in the first bit of hike.

So I huffed and puffed up the steep incline, not questioning the route past the backside of private property since the sign stated that the trail traversed private property. As the road leveled a bit, I got this stunning view looking more or less east towards the lake.

But it wasn't long until there was nothing but "private property, keep out" signs and I couldn't figure out where the trail had gone. Back down that steep road I went and pretty disappointed.

As I put my things back in the car, I had a thought - remembering a narrow beaten path in front of that sign, and could it be that the trail heads up the hill the other way? Yes indeed! This is looking back down the trail - the parking area to the left and Pine street curving around the hill. I'd already killed about 40 minutes, but I couldn't resist heading up the real trail anyway.

This route is a very gentle incline, perfect for my out of shape status. And knowing that houses aren't too far away gave me a sense of security that being further out in the woods does not.

It wasn't long before it crossed a paved road and continued into cool shady woods. I didn't make it the whole 1.2 miles to where it joins up with other trails, so I don't know if it eventually opens to clear vistas. I was running out of time, and I knew there were a few shots I wanted to get on the way down, so I reluctantly left that for another day.

Part of my reluctance was the retracing of my steps. To be able to walk a loop is my preference, but this trail doesn't allow for that. But in fact, the return trip was not a repeat of what I'd seen on the way up. A different angle, a different viewpoint, a different focus turned up some surprises. How did I, who am so atuned to white tree trunks, miss these white trunks lying by the side of the trail?

I had noticed a group of trees on the way up that I thought held potential - sinuous shapes - so I now sized them up from several angles to frame a shot when I suddenly noticed several huge mushrooms clinging to them. Even though they were fairly high up, I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed them first time through.

And just across the trail, another one I'd walked right past, only a few feet up on the trunk and easily 8-10 inches across.

Again, how did I not see this bright yellow splotch right next to the trail? Looking at my feet, I suppose, as my dad always accused. It was about 3 inches across.

Here are two views of a hollow stump with a new tree growing out of it near this same spot in the trail.

Through this spit you can see some strange things going on - looks like more than one tree was growing in there and eventually grew together.

I did notice this downed tree though, its swirls all the more interesting for the cut coming just below where the tree split off into two branches.

As I walked along the trail, it occurred to me that what I was seeing was not that different from other trails I've walked in the area. And yet, I always seem to find something of interest to record for future inspiration. Thus, when I ran across this quotation from Marcel Proust, I could not help but shake my head in perfect agreement:

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Oh, and those new shoes and that walking stick worked great!

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

That's a perfect quote to end this post! Now get thee to the studio!