Saturday, May 22, 2010

Early Morning Head Clearance

I needed to get outside to clear my mind and de-tox from the recent stress that I have been under. With resolution comes a search; a return to the state of inner peace where I dwell. I almost always turn to nature in order to do this. Here is where I manage my internal happiness.

I got up at five, grabbed gear, food & water and headed west towards Hog Lake. It was cloudy and cool but a very pleasant temperature to hike in and, extra bonus, no bugs! I hit the 'trail' at about 6:15 am and had decided to explore a trail I hadn't know about before. I saw it on the bulletin board at the entrance to this chunk of BLM land. It headed south along the creek formed from the outflow from the small Hog Lake Dam at its southern end. Very wild and green with interesting rock formations like most of the other areas here in the 'channeled scabland' areas. It was very fun exploring someplace new and close to home. And the bird-life was everywhere; wrens, thousands of swallows, cinnamon teals, yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds, gulls, hawks, wood ducks, and robins.

I explored several overlooks above these small lakes, seemingly only visited by hunters, then I headed inland a bit and found the horse trail that I knew to be around here. I followed it south and then west up to the highest point in the immediate vicinity which happens to be out in open country with only an occasional lonely Ponderosa Pine. Quite a contrast to the lowland canyon by the stream/marsh/pond topography. I headed back on this higher ground, exploring as I went. I knew that I would eventually find game trails down to the stream area. I did and came out pretty close to where I had parked. I really like this open country to hike in! You really can't get lost as long as you pay attention to the lay of the land.

I then drove to the north end of Hog Lake to more familiar trails because I wanted to check on the waterfall which all but drys up in the summer. It was flowing nicely and as I approached the sun finally began to come out. I mountain-goated the talus slope of sharp angular basaltic rocks that ring like chimes when they fall against each other. A very beautiful day and very renewing for my spirit!

Home by 10:15 am and was safe and warm when the hail, snow and rain hit...