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Monday, July 5, 2010
Cranking Out Miles - June 21
We took Sunday off to rest our feet and the rest of our bodies too! But Monday we were back on the trail, and concentrating hard on walking a lot of miles. Compared to some of the scenic sections on other days, Monday was rather tame, but you know I found some cool plants.
Meet the dewberry, a member of the raspberry family. Dewberries grow close to the ground, and the treat for this day was that we found a few ripe berries to try. They are edible, but the wildlife usually eats them before they ripen, so I'd never had a chance to try them before. The taste was sort of a tart red raspberry.
We had been seeing shinleaf partially opened for several days, but I was waiting to picture it until it was fully in bloom. Here you go!
How about a closer view of those little waxy bells? Remember that this is also a pyrola, Pyrola elliptica. This is the most common one, so anyone in the NE US might come across it. The pink pyrola from a couple of days ago is much less common.
Finally, I just liked this trail picture. 15 more miles done!
I have to confess that I had very mixed feelings about the way these last few days of the bulk of my NCT quest played out. There were a lot of parts of it all that I didn't like. We got up early every day to hike as much as possible before the day heated up. That logically seems like a good thing, but I struggle so much with early morning that it never felt good. I also didn't like the way the whole experience was so rushed. On the other hand, there was no reason to stretch these days out. The terrain was easy, and while I didn't want to rush things, on the other hand I just wanted to finish. Just three more hiking days to go...