Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Part of the Food Chain

          I have not been outside much recently, due to a May 4 week class. Fitting an entire semester worth of math into four weeks meant that I didn't have much free time. Anyway, with much suffering and many hours of hard work, I finished with a B. Last weekend we were busy, so I made plans to go hiking during the week. Mike and I set off from Highrock lake, which is a lake formed from damming up Shoal Creek, and went south toward the Lower Shoal Shelter. We did not go all the way to the shelter, but hiked in about two miles and camped.
We parked the truck at FS 531 above the shelter, then drove the jeep around to the parking area near Highrock lake. There was something there which smelled very bad, like a sewer full of death that had been festering in the sunlight for a week.
Anyway, we started hiking away from the smell to the south. The trail dipped down into a primordial-feeling forest, with huge ferns and tall trees.

Mike and I carried on over a gap between some mountains, and just carried on. 
We crossed over the ridge above Shoal Creek, and came to a bridge across a small creek. 

Before long, we came down into Shoal Creek valley, where the creek rolled over the rocks and the trail vanished into the cool water. 
 We hopped from rock to rock over the creek. 
The trail then went up following the ravine, hanging on to the side of the cliff with a rushing creek well below. 
Before long, we came to a beaver dam across the creek, with a good sized lake behind it. 
We stopped on the trail above the pond and ate some cookies while watching the Rock Bass swim by. 

We carried on past some cliffs above the creek. 
We came down from the cliff into a flat area between two creeks. Like a little Mesopotamia. 
We had thirty minutes until dark, so we stopped to set up camp. 
We spent a little time pulling ticks off of us, and Mike went swimming. 
Soon we lit a fire and ate dinner.

Then we went to bed. I slept pretty well, but it did actually get a little cold. The following morning, we packed up and headed out. We decided to head back to the jeep, instead of doing the rest. 

The hike back seemed a good bit shorter than the hike out. 
Mike was excited to have made it out of the woods. It was a good, if short. I'm glad we got out there. 

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