Saturday, June 29, 2013

Copper Creek trail on a hot day

Still a bit under the weather but needed to get out and hike!  Lots of stress this week, dealing red tape galore. 
Patches is about to be registered as a potentially dangerous dog.  She was tied to a fence at the school with my daughter nearby, when some kids started teasing her.  One grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and twisted her head around, so Patches bit her.  It’s not really fair to Patches and the animal control officer never even asked for our side of the story or even looked at Patches before making her decision.  I adopted Patches from the same agency that now says she is a potentially dangerous dog.
I think Patches is still allowed to roam free when hiking, but she cannot be free at all in the city limits.  If she can’t roam free while hiking I think she may as well be put down.  A Springer spaniel is not a dog that can be cooped up all the time, they need room to run.  Springer Spaniels also have a reputation for dominance aggression, so I’m not saying that Patches is innocent here.

I decided to hike with my friend Stan, he’s getting into shape and I’m feeling ill so Copper Creek sounded like a good option.  The weather forecast was HOT.  Copper Creek Trail stays low in a valley next to a creek and then it climbs up out of the heat, so it seemed like a good option on a hot day.

The forest was very wet from the recent heavy rains and thunderstorms, but at the same time it was hot.  It felt almost like hiking in Central America with the heat and the humidity.
We were shocked to find that the causeway gate was open!  That was not expected!  The culvert over Copper Creek has been reinforced a bit.  I think the Elk Creek culvert is still washed out, as the wild life gate before Elk Creek was shut.  The road was very nice and smooth all the way to the wild life gate.
We hiked slowly with me being sick and my friend having been off the trail for a few weeks and the heat.  Also with the days being so long we did not have to worry about running out of daylight.  The valley where the trail runs near the creek is beautiful.  I must go back and do photography there when the light it right.  Perhaps I will camp there so I can catch the sweet light on both ends of the day.
Mosquitoes were out in force and when I stopped they swarmed me.  This is a bad year for mosquitoes.  I applied 100% Deet and that did the trick. 
We took the loop in the counter-clockwise direction so we could find the cache and hit the top first.  The only view point is just after the summit and that is where we stopped for lunch, but we did not stop for long.  We left our lunch spot and explored the way trail that goes up lightening peak.   The way trail seems to get a lot of use and even some maintenance.  Neither of us have the skill to climb lightening peak, we were just hoping to find a nicer place to have lunch, and we did. 

We had our lunch on  a bed of nice soft pipe cleaner (Rytidiopsus robusta)  moss.  There was a view of Lake Cushman, Mount Lincoln and Mount Cruiser.

On the way back down we saw two rough skinned newts and two western toads.

We had the trail to ourselves all day long.
6 miles with 2,500 feet elevation gain 
Bunch berry, a type of dogwood

Old growth hemlock

Clavaria vermicularis mushrooms

What way?


Old growth snag lit up nicely

Summit rock of Mount Rose is in the red circle, click to enlarge

Pacific coralrood orchid depends on a mushroom (fungi) for it's energy needs

Mycena mushrooms


Loving my newish lens.  This is zoomed all the way in on Lake Cushman and the road next to
it from near the top of the Copper Creek Trail

Fungi left this black pattern in this rotten wood

The dog vomit slime mold Fuligo septica is not a fungi

Lepadozia Reptans liverwort with sporophytes

Lepodozia reptans leaf

Lepodozia repthans one elator and two spores

Lepodozia reptans stem

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