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A nice little hike Sunday 7-21-13

Monday, July 22, 2013

Yesterday morning I went out really early and walked 4 miles in town. The weather s very unpredictable and I didn't know whether I would be able to go hiking or not. Sometimes it's cloudy, sometimes it's raining lightly, sometimes it's hot, sometimes thunder and lightning and no rain, and sometimes a really heavy downpour, like late at night on Saturday night. So I went out to get some exercise while I knew I could (5:30 am, not light enough to go hit the trails LOL). I knew I wasn't going to be able to go on a long hike after the walk in the morning. I've been having some pain in the heal of my left foot. I think I bruised it when I went walking in sandals a few days ago. I intended to just walk to a convenience store not far from my house but when I started walking I just kept going for a while. The sandals I have are comfortable but I think the pounding on the sidewalk for what turned into 3 miles was hard on my foot. It doesn't hurt much in my sneakers but I didn't want to push it.

When I left the house there were some clouds but I could see more the distance I headed. I headed up into the mountains. There is a little town named Pinos Altos about 7 mile up the road I went. It was in the midst of one of those heavy downpours. But I figured if I kept going up the mountain I would get past the rain. If not, I'd at least have a nice drive through the forest in the rain. I was pretty sure it wouldn't be a downpour the whole time. And about 3 or 4 miles down the road it eased up to a lighter rain. It turned into a drizzle. I stopped briefly at a place by the side of the road that runs along Cherry Creek. This creek is usually dry but once in a while it has some water and I thought maybe it would have some now because a lot of creeks have run off right now from the rains higher up. I walked about 1/4 mile from where I parked in the direction of a campground along there, but not intending to go all the way. Just to where I could get a clear picture of whether there was water in the creek. It was raining very lightly but it felt good. I'm a little crazy LOL!

It was so much more lush and green than just a couple of weeks ago before the rains.

I thought I could hear water running but then I finally figured out that it was the rain falling on the trees I was hearing. When I got to where the trail would cross the creek there was no water in it unfortunately.

There was a time, when my grown kids were little, that this creek would more often have little water in it. But we've had so many drought years since then. We'll have some good years and then some very very dry years with some rain and snow but way below what we need. So things are not the same as back then.

So back in my car and further up the road. About 5 minutes up the road the light rain turned into a few sprinkles and it was clearing some. I drove further up the road, about 10 or 12 miles, to an are I like to stop at sometimes because it's so peaceful and quiet. It's called Pine Flat. The rain had stopped and the clouds were very light so I stopped here to get out and hike around a little bit.

It was just so pretty and green. The pictures don't really show just how green it was.

I don't have a recent picture of this area, but I have a picture of another area about another 10 miles up the road from about 3 weeks ago. This is just to show you how dry the whole area was because the grasses and things looked like this everywhere.

This just shows what a couple of weeks of rain can do. Pine Flat looked like the other picture a few weeks ago. It was lightly cloudy and not raining but had just rained so sometimes I felt drops of water fall on me from the trees as I walked. The ground was very soft from the 2 weeks of rains. There were some muddy spots, but this wasn't a gooey mud, but just very soft ground that off the road I would sink 1/2 inch or so in but not like mud. It had a combinations of the dirt and pine needles. It was very cushy to walk on in a nice way, although sometimes going up a hill could make it a little more work. Even on the forest service road it was somewhat soft. I love that feeling of soft pine needles this time of year. And the smell after the rains out in the forest.

I started following the forest service road to see where it would lead me. Some of those roads are short, and some are longer. I never know when I start on one how far it would go. Some of this area I know but I had found the last time I was here the road went on further, up a hill, than I had realized. I didn't follow it that time but wanted to find where it went today.

It got pretty steep for a bit climbing up the hill. Near the top there was fewer trees I think from a fire several years ago. But smaller trees, bushes, and other growth.

At the top were more trees. I ran out of signs of a trail or road and decided to stop here and rest a little bit. I have books on my phone, which I love. One of them is the Bible. I love to read my Bible out in places like this so I sat for a little while and did that and enjoyed the view before heading back down.

The pictures are good but they don't really show just how beautiful the views from up here were.

After about 25 minutes or so I headed back down the trail and went back to my car. The whole hike was only 2 miles. But it was such a beautiful hike. I got my chair-in-a-bag out of the trunk of my car and sat and read another book on my phone for another hour and just enjoyed the peace and quiet, the beauty, the gentle cool breeze, and just being out there. Then I decided it was time to head back home.

Hope you enjoyed going with me. Have a great day!
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