Friday, May 30, 2014

Walks with moss? Nope, walks with protozoa on the Copper Creek trail

are you tempted?
My mother is still in the ICU and still on a ventilator.  She’s been there for 16 days now.  But she is getting better and her condition is not life threatening, so I took a break from visiting the hospital and went for a hike.   I needed exercise to make up for my lack of exercise these past two weeks, but at the same time I was tired from visiting the hospital and driving so I did not want to push my body too hard.  I thought of doing Mount Rose, but opted for something a little easier.  I had a deadline to meet; I had to get home in time for the 4th grade concert.

The gate across the causeway was open, so I was able to park right at the trail head and I started my hike at about 9:30.   The trail starts out next to the river and soon it climbs up into an old growth forest.  This trail follows Copper River and it should not be confused with Copper Mountain.  Copper Mountain is on the other side of Lake Cushman.  One can climb lightening peak from the top of this trail, I think lightening peak is a class 4 climb, so it’s not for hikers like me.

When I got to the top of the loop I turned right and did the loop counter-clockwise.  I took my lunch at the little view point on the way down.  Lunch was dried blueberries (way, way too sweet) peanuts and a buddy fruit.  I also had a cup of Vina cafĂ© instant coffee.

I thought about having my lunch up on the way trail that leads to lightening peak, but I was needlessly concerned about time. 

When I got home and fixed up my track log I found the trail to be just 3.5 miles round trip with 2,500 feet elevation gain.  Is the forest service wrong?  The trail head signs say this trail is 4.5 miles round trip.  The problem is that no GPS works very well in the valley at the bottom.  A wheeled device might be needed to really measure this trail.

The weather was nice; I got a bit warm hiking up and there was no rain even though rain had been predicted.  There were protozoa (slime molds) everywhere; I guess the protozoa thought it was a good day to go for a stroll too.  I had the trail to myself all day.
This trail is maintained by the Mount Rose trail crew so it is in perfect condition nearly all the time and it has beautiful bridges.  I wish there was a trail going up to the top of the little peak between Rose and Copper.  Better yet how about a trail up to the top of Copper Mountain that starts in the National Forest so I can take Patches with me.. I can dream..

3.5-4.5 miles with 2,500 elevation gain

Lake Cushman and a clearcut forest in the distance

Hand drawn track log

Robin's egg blue

Protozoa on the march

Patches wants to find a way down

Patches becomes one with the mountain

Lichen and moss wonderland on the ridge

Protozoa goes for a walk

After several revisions my home made pack is holding
 up well notice the new pocket on the right.  My feet
thanked me for hiking in running shoes instead of boots


669 year old tree that fell across the trail
was cleared out by the Mount Rose trail crew.. Thanks!


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