And... also my birthday. For many years I made it a habit to go hiking/camping on my birthday, but haven't been able to for a long time now. It was fun to do so again, and with my best friend to boot!
The hiking was short, just 6.5 miles of the Stockport section, points 1-3. This was between our campsite (Bicentennial) and the next one (Wood Grove). The next place we could have put a car was 12.9 miles away. Not out of the question, but we were pretty committed to keeping this hike easy, so we left it as a short day.
We're always grateful for bridges over the creeks. There's usually no problem crossing if the water is low, but the access sometimes drops down steeply to the water and then back up the other side.
The joke of the day was the trail guide. "The trail stays near mines, but generally, above the high wall." I couldn't help but picture the trail just slipping off the edge of the mine wall from time to time. I mean, "generally" is nice, but how many sections of falling trail can one tolerate?
Loved this small bright tan/orange fungus. The top isn't much to look at...
... but check out the underside. I think I've seen this one before (Lost in the Fungal Labyrinth), but I still can't identify it. The gills are so distinctive, you'd think it would be easy, but not so. I think my earlier guess is wrong. Online pictures don't look at all like this. So it will remain a teasing mystery a bit longer.
Here, the trail wandered down to the bottom of a high wall. It did so in a polite manner, not by falling off the edge. At the bottom of each mine high wall is the lowest point of the old mine. Thus these are now all small narrow lakes. Some are very pretty. This one in particular, although I hate to tell you the white flowers are autumn olive.
We reached Wood Grove campground at 1pm, and it began to rain just as we got in the car.
We were hoping to sample the water there, since the water at our campground was so horrible even we weren't willing to drink it, but the pump wasn't operable. We still had enough for one more day, but both cars were low on gas. We also needed to get ice and some vegetables. We've found that when we are hiking between cars and eating out of a cooler (ie... not backpacking) that we LOVE having a baggie of fresh vegetables for lunch.
And... you haven't forgotten that it was my birthday, have you? So we headed back to Caldwell, did all the errands, and then went to a restaurant for pie. Almost always better than cake!
More reading in the tent. We started our second book, Adventurous Women. It's about several women who lived around the turn of the 20th century who chose to hike, canoe, and climb mountains when it was a very unusual activity for the "gentle sex."
Oh yeah, and we talked a little bit about getting old. But neither one of us is giving in to age just yet.
Total miles so far this trip: 32.6. Weather was overcast but pleasant in the morning. Monday, April 24.
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