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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Day Four on the Knobstone

 
Day four was the worst. I questioned what I was doing. I wondered if I'd outgrown my need for hiking. All I wanted to do was get home and sit down with my computer game and a glass of iced tea. I wondered who this new person was. It's not like I was out there doing something unprecedented for me.

I did see the second vista of the trip, at a power line crossing.

Knobstone Trail vista

I found another new plant. I knew it was a Viburnum because of the opposite leaves, but I did not know which one. I'm pretty sure it's Viburnum dentatum, Arrow-wood. Yes, there are varieties grown as ornamentals. This one was quite ornamental, as it was growing from a fallen log at eye level.

Arrow-wood

The biggest disappointment of the day was passing by Elk Creek Lake. On a trail that has a severe water problem, the trail never went down to the water edge so you could access it. What? You were only teased by glimpses through the trees. On the east end, I think if the water were higher you could reach it, but in mid June it was just a muddy plain that looked iffy to walk across (wade in mud).

When I reached the trail junction at the west end I asked a hiker how far to the water access (down a side trail to the trailhead). Half a mile. Nope. I walked back a quarter mile to the last puddle I'd seen to fill my water.

Elk Creek Lake

The temperature hit 91 degrees. I lay on the damp stones in one of the dry creek beds for half an hour before I thought I could go any farther. I crossed a busy highway and climbed to the top of a ridge. There was a small campsite, and it was a little sooner than I wanted to stop. But there was a slight breeze and I had no assurance there was either water or a space clear of poison ivy at the next stream crossing where I had thought to hike to. So I stopped. The tradeoff was that the traffic noise came right up the hill. But I decided that the breeze more than made up for that. I'd given up on the ideal hike long before this point.

Knobstone Trail campsite

I had no signal at all on my phone, so did not blog from the trail that night. However, after a few hours of rest, I decided I might be able to eat, so I cooked up "Pizza Bowl," a yummy dinner.

backpacker food

As the afternoon light shifted, it highlighted some moss sporangia. I did not even have to get up. I reached for my camera and zoomed in for a few pictures.

moss sporangia

I knew I had 8 more miles to go, which was more than I'd managed either Friday or today (6.5 each of those, plus the extra half mile for water on this day), but I could tell from the map that there would be fewer hills on the morrow, and I had the car- meaning cold drinks and multiple options- at the end to look forward to.

In current news: Today was pretty much a waste. After the power outage last night which was fixed at midnight, I did not wake up as early this morning. and I could not get my head in gear. It's going to be tough because I have much to do in the next two weeks and we're supposed to hit sustained high temps through this whole time. So I'm trying to get moving early. It did not happen today. I worked on the trailer a little bit and then went to get some supplies, none of which I was able to find. I got a hankering for a cold macaroni salad, so I bought the stuff for that and made it. My one success of the day! Developed a headache after lunch, so I've mostly sat still with a good book and an iced tea! My hot day ideal. But it's not going to get my tasks done. I made some calls and think I've now located my two items locally, so will try again tomorrow. And once again tomorrow, I'm going to try to buck my natural rhythms and get up early to take advantage of the cooler morning. We shall see.

See Day Three

1 comment:

Ann said...

The views are wonderful. There is no way I could have hiked as far as you did in that heat.

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