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mountain squid

nice day for a hike

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Starting the new year off with a hike. Nothing fantastic, just a short day-hike through the woods. The trailhead is only 10 miles away, so it was quick and easy to get there (yeah - it's nice living close to the trail). I hiked from Cross Mountain Rd to Double Springs Shelter. It was a rather uneventful 6 mi roundtrip . . .

No sooner had I started off that I felt some rain drops. I thought that I might need my waterproof hat. I turned around to look at my truck and realized that I was already at the other end of the parking area. It was too far to go back. If it continued to rain I was just going to get wet. It was in the 40s, so at least it wasn't very cold. I shrugged my shoulders and continued my hike.

The walk through the Osborne Farm, with unobstructed views into Shady Valley, was nice. The cows were no longer there, so I didn't have to contend with them. There was plenty of evidence of their prior existence, however. A couple of times I had to do some fancy footwork to avoid a disastrous misstep. I was able to make it through with clean shoes.

Being so close to home, sometimes I stop at the edge of the forest and just return to the trailhead for a really short hike. This time I was going all the way in. Not too far into the woods I encountered an obstruction . . . What a dilemma. Should I continue on? Should I go around? Being familiar territory, I neglected to bring my maps, what if I lost the trail while going around? Was this more than what I wanted to endure? Should I go back and get my other hat?

Well, the obstruction was nothing more than a blow down. Anyone who has spent any time on the trail, certainly has encountered one of these . . . I stepped over it. I was about to continue my hike, but then noticed that the blow down had created another minor diversion. The blow down had knocked over a smaller tree which was right on the trail. Now what to do? Would I ever be able to continue my hike? Who maintains this section for crying out loud? Fortunately I had my pruning saw with me. I quickly removed this mess from the trail. (Hey, Sarge, the 20 inch blow down is still there, my little saw was not about to tackle that. It's about 5 minutes from the edge of the field and is an easy step over.)

Finally, hiking again . . . and on my way to the shelter. I was determined to make it. Nothing would stop me now . . . and nothing else did.

Double Springs Shelter is a typical shelter that just happens to have 2 springs nearby. Get it?!? 2 springs, Double . . Springs . . Shelter. We gave it a paint job earlier this year with some mouse repellent paint. Not sure how that worked out, but the paint was unfortunately unable to repel graffiti. Oh well. Maybe we should have used two coats . . .

The hike back to the trailhead was pleasant. I thought about the few hikers starting their NOBO treks down at Springer. It'll be several weeks before they make it here. Maybe they'll have good weather. For me, the sun peeked out a few times. The threat of rain was diminishing. It was looking like I wouldn't need my other hat after all.

Back at the Osborne Farm, I stopped and checked on the apple trees that we planted a couple of months ago. No apples yet . . .

My truck welcomed me back at the trailhead where I had some hot coffee waiting. It was a good New Year's Day Hike (but I reckon it could've been better)! (it rained hard on the drive home and now I am watching football)

See you on the trail,
Tim aka
mt squid