Matt Patterson, the section supervisor for this part, hiked with us today. That was super, because he knew every twist of the trail, so we never made a wrong turn. Sure, we could have checked the app at the iffy corners, but Matt made it easy, and now he knows which ones aren't marked well enough.
We were hiking along the shore of Harsha Lake a lot of the time. It wasn't a sunny day, but we didn't mind. The just-below-freezing temp kept the mud under control, and we were dressed for the weather.
Very early in the day we visited this lovely little waterfall, decorated with ice.
Here's a throwback picture. This is friend Deb, who hiked this section with me about 15 years ago, in a different season, enjoying this nifty spot.
Biggest challenge of the day was four wide stream crossings. We got across every one with dry feet. (OK, I had damp toes on the last one, but nothing serious). The last one was the most difficult. Here's Denali at the first one,
and me at the last one. (Matt has longer legs- I guess we weren't impressed that he made it across!)
And here's an awesome find. In two places I found the winter leaves of Tipularia discolor, the Crane-Fly Orchid. I saw it in Alabama once (link below), and it's pretty rare. I have yet to see it in bloom.
We also saw a kinglet and an osprey.
Miles today: 13.5. Total miles so far: 672.8
Bonus Section: How Big are Yew?
We found this overgrown Yew in the woods. It had been planted long ago when this was private property, before the dam was built. It's huge!
Denali found the ghost of one of the children born there. Yeah, it was a little creepy.
| See Crane Fly Orchid in Alabama
See Harsha Dam