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Saturday, June 27, 2020

A Better Account of the First Day on the Knobstone Trail

I'm going back and taking the Knobstone Trail hike one day at a time. When I was trying to blog from the trail I wasn't able to include many pictures, and I was too tired to explain much. I'm home now, and will take the time to go day by day.

My first full day out was Wednesday, June 17. My goal was to do 12.5 miles. We already know I didn't make that. I made almost 11 before the heat did me in, but along the way there were neat things to see.

There were only two real vistas on this trail, but one of them was going up a hill on that first day. I looked back, and wow! I particularly like the two little sawteeth on the very end of that ridge.

vista on the Knobstone Trail

You know any trip is good when I find new plants. Got two new ones for sure on this trip. This is American Ipecac, Gillenia stipulata. Notice that it looks like there are five leaves in each group. Actually, there are only three leaves and two stipules, but the stipules are big. A similar species has very small stipules.

American Ipecac

This one is also new for me. I'm pretty sure it is Smooth Hedge Nettle, Stachys tenuifolia. It would have been good if I followed my own advice and taken better pictures. Truth is, I was so hot and zombified that it's a wonder I took any pictures! (For Hyssop Hedge Nettle see Two New Plants.)

smooth hedge nettle

I live just a little farther north than the Zebra Swallowtail butterflies roam, but they were the species most often seen on this hike. They are very nervous, and I didn't get any really great pics. This will have to do. They are huge and gorgeous!

zebra swallowtail

This was also the day I saw the box turtle (link below).

After camping the first night in true dispersed fashion, I knew I'd be using the semi-developed sites for the rest of the trip. There are a lot more well-used camp areas than are mentioned in the paperwork. Their primary appeal to me was the lack of poison ivy. They've been trampled enough to beat it back.


Silly me. I was thinking that even though I was whipped perhaps I'd be able to catch up to my original mileage goal the next day. You already know that didn't happen. I was so hot and tired that I slept for 12 hours.

See Under 2 mph


MDarrall said...

Well done and thank you for sharing your trip!

Ann said...

You were close to your original goal on the first day. I didn't even notice the sawteeth in the irst picture until you mentioned them.

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