Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gold Creek 10-7-10 (7 miles)

The Big Guy had an extra day off and decided he'd like to ask his folks to join us on our hike at Gold Creek. His folks are both in their mid-70's and lifelong hikers. I hope we are going as strongly when we are their age. We have had several memorable hikes as a group, and this one did not disappoint.

Prepping for the hike: Mutti checks her pack, Vati laces his boots, and I show off the apres-hike chocolate bar Mutti brought us from Canada.

Some pretty red-headed lichen. These were only a sampling of the profuse plant life that has flourished this year due to the cooler, more humid conditions. Vegetable gardens didn't do as well, but under the forest's canopy the native vegetation exploded.

Zuzu and me squishing some lichen.

Still happily hiking after all these years, the day after their 51st anniversary.

There they go. They're all tall and faster than me.

Looking down on Gold Creek.

This man is looking for mushrooms. This man will not have to look very hard and will be richly rewarded. We hadn't planned on mushrooming on this hike, but we stumbled on so many gigantic King Boletes, Puffballs, and Delicious Milky Caps that we had to harvest.

See? Look at the size of the one in my hand! And these were only half of all the ones we picked. I don't even like mushrooms, but it was exciting to find what I know to be rare.

Something else that is rare happened...

As we were coming back on the trail, we came upon this large tree. The Big Guy stopped, and turned to us with a puzzled look on his face. "We didn't climb over any trees on the way out..." he said. No, we all agreed, we had not. Were we on the wrong path? No, there was only one, can't be mistaken. The answer -- the eerie answer -- was that this tree had fallen across the path after we had gone by. We all sort of stood there a moment absorbing that before going over and around it.

We were very thankful that this occurrence is a rare one indeed.