Walking Above the Creeks
Beginning Elevation = 6,400
Ending Elevation = 4,000
Weather: 37 – 60°F, Mostly sunny, hazy clouds
I woke up to a very chilly morning. I slept great though! I tend to sleep better when it’s chilly. Did my normal pack-up routine, ate a strawberry Pop-Tart, and was hiking at 7:20am. Never did end up talking to my neighbor.
The trail continued following (Drew) Holcomb Creek, which was where I filled up my bottles just before finding camp last night. It was a smooth grade, following parallel to the creek up along the hill/mountain side. There were lots of birds singing and for most of the day I would hear the sounds of a babbling brook or at times a cascading creek.
My old friend August Rush used to tell me, “The music is all around us, all you have to do…is listen.”Second breakfast was had about an hour into hiking. I found this gem of a spot (below) and even got my sleeping pad out to relax upon (I hope to start doing this more often…it’s one of the advantages of going with a pad rather than an air mattress). I took a nice long break not feeling rushed at all today.After breakfast, flowers began popping up along the trail and canyon side. I’d say they were violet colored with a pretty bright yellow added in too. I believe they’re some sort of lupin? I also feel like I’ve seen something similar in Michigan? Questions for my plant folks out there I suppose.I had a few crossings over Holcomb Creek. That’s my man Jan (Yahn?) from The Czech Republic who I met today persevering over all obstacles.After about 8 miles or so, the trail left the creek. I then spotted this gray mountain squirrel chowing down on one of those giant pine cones. I suspect he’s trying to get to the sap stuff inside?Next up on today’s activity list was coming across this giant fallen tree that had been cut out of the trail. Mr. Lumberjack left some of the hunks of tree, so I thought to myself, “Stephen, this is a great opportunity to count the tree rings!” And so I commenced to doing just that. Guess how many there were…240! Is what I came up with. Towards the outside they were very tight together. I’m no dendrochronologist, but doesn’t that mean the tree was 240 years old? Which would mean that this tree first sprouted in 1779, just 3 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Call me out if all of this is nonsense…I was just on a role. Will the real dendrochronologist please stand up!
My lunch spot was pretty nice, despite being in the sun. I had a fun time creating this video…my audition for “Food Network Star – Season 37 – Backcountry Edition.” I made myself stick to my first take, just like I remember contestants doing in the show. I’m still waiting to hear back from judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, but you’ll have to let me know what you think.I think I’ll have to stick to being a professional blogger…reality television chef might just not be my thing. You may have noticed…”Red Beard.”. I know y’all are just waiting for me to get my trail name, but I was just testing it out. Snickers has been calling me that, but it seems a bit too literal for me. We’ll see if it sticks.
About 12 miles into my day, I reached Deep Creek and this beauty of a bridge. I filled up some water down below and had a nice break.Once across, the trail turned and began following just as it had done with Holcomb Creek, running parallel from up above. It was a very pretty canyon.Soon, I made it to another milestone!Here’s more photos from the walk above the creek (that seemed more like a river)Towards the end of the day, I was having a stupid pain in my right quadripicious dorsimus (or at least that’s what I’m calling my top/inner thigh). It seemed like it was the muscle that I use to slow me down when going downhill. So, if I didn’t try to slow myself, it seemed better. Either way, I was looking for a place to camp from about 3:30 on, but there aren’t too many flat spots for a tent in a steep canyon.
A little after 5:00 I found a stealth camping spot after climbing up off the trail.Cooked up this concoction, which turned out pretty tasty, and something a little different:It was nice getting into camp a bit earlier for a change and hopefully resting my legs for tomorrow!