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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Day Two on the Knobstone Trail

Here is my after-the-fact, better account of the second day (Thursday, June 18) of hiking on the Knobstone Trail. I made it 10 miles before I was again way overheated. It didn't feel as bad as day one, but clearly I was not going to make up the "lost" miles, so I switched to a more leisurely hike. This decision is recounted in the post from the trail, linked below.

The highlight of the day was lunch and a rest at Big Oxbow Creek. This was one of only two creeks where there was still flowing water in the entire 44 miles. The most interesting feature was the tall shale wall. There were some low shale walls in other creeks, but most of the rock in the area was red, and eroded into rounded cobbles and pebbles. This cliff provided shade and a nice growing surface for plants that like that kind of place. There's a longer shot in the linked post.

Big Oxbow Creek on the Knobstone Trail

The reliable water meant that fish were able to survive. These guys were about 4 inches long. I have no idea what kind they are.

fingerling fish swimming

One of the best parts of the entire hike was that the forest was almost always filled with Wood Thrush song. They make such beautiful music! I'm pretty sure that's what this is. It flew down to the water and took a bath. So by the time I got the camera ready it was soaking wet. And I didn't get any pictures with sharp focus. But I'm pretty happy to have gotten a picture at all. The breast spots don't seem round enough, but that might be because it's wet.

wet wood thrush

And I found another new plant that day. I may have seen this one before, but not to actually identify it. This is Large Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis grandis. It looks pretty much like the ones that grow in everybody's lawn or on the roadsides, but it's much larger, and notice how the leaves are slightly edged in purple. What caught my eye is that the seed pods stick straight up. Look at the ones in your yard and it's most likely that the seed stalk will have a bend in it. There are several species.

large yellow wood sorrel

I chose a hilltop campsite. Those tended to have a slight breeze. Anything of that nature was welcome. High 80s for the temperatures again. I did manage to cook a dinner and eat it. It's hard for me to care about food when I'm hot. I also showed you that meal when I blogged from the trail, so it's in the post linked below.

campsite on the Knobstone Trail

The biggest challenge of the evening was ants. Big ants, little ants, red biting ants. Ants. The orange food bag is not hung for the night yet, but I did temporarily hang it from that tree just to get it off the ground. The ants were crawling all over the food bags (but mostly not getting in). They did get in my dinner, and I spent some quality time drowning them and removing them from my meal.

So, day 2, with the 2.5 miles I did the first evening, 10.5 and 10, I was at 23 miles- over halfway. But the temperatures continued to climb. Stay tuned.

In other current news: I spent most of the day sitting with ice packs on my feet and legs, trying to get the swelling from the poison ivy to go down. I think it's getting better, but this is the worst I've had it in a while. I did manage to do laundry and make yogurt. And some good news on the writing front: I outlined all the rest of the next children's book, The Lonely Donkey.

See Plan B

1 comment:

Ann said...

It sounded like a great day until you got to the ants.

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