Friday, June 26, 2015

Lake bagging in the swamp

I’m exploring a new to me area that I don’t want to say too much about, because it seems to be free from crowds on the weekdays.    I’m sure that some of my dear readers will recognize this area though.

It was going to be a hot day and I was worried about taking Patches on a logging road hike.  Patches is prone to heat stroke and she has not yet had her summer haircut.  I hoped that there would be enough water along the route to keep her cool.  I missed my starting point because I could not see the old road, but I found a nearby road that connected with the road I wanted to be on.

Patches stuck in mud
I tried to take a short cut through a swamp but soon thought better of that.  The swamp was not very wet but it was filled with vine maple and devil’s club.

To get to the lake I had in mind, I had to cross a creek twice but I did not mind, as getting wet was a good way to stay cool.

When I reached the lake I was happy with what I saw, a nice clean campground with TP and clean outhouses.  People must go there a lot, but we did not see another soul all day long.  The campground is closed for camping and it’s a three mile walk to reach it, but it still had signs up admonishing people to display a pass in their car.  It makes me sad that our infrastructure is all failing while money is spent on overseas wars that enrich US corporations and leave the common person with nothing.

I found a flag hanging in the tree in the campground.

I hung out at the lake taking pictures for quite a while.  I was in no hurry to go back home to the heat.  After I left the campground I explored other access points to the lake.  I discovered a nice shady spot next to the lake with spearmint growing in it.  I sat in the nice shady spot and picked some spearmint.   While I sat, I was bothered by horseflies, black flies and a few mosquitoes.

On the way back to my car I checked out another little lake that I could see on my GPS.  This little lake was wonderful.  The lake had a gravel shore rather than a yucky mucky shore, so I went it.  The temperature of the water was just right; I was able to walk right into the lake.  I stood in lake water up to my neck while Patches swam in circles around me.  It was so much fun to swim with my pup.

At one point Patches or I startled a snake into the lake and later when I was swimming I saw that the snake had gone clear out to the middle of the lake.  I hope the snake made it out okay.  It was a little unnerving to have a snake swimming with me.

At about 5pm I started my hike out in soaking wet clothes.  Thanks to being soaking wet, I did not get to hot.  I did however get very light headed from lack of food and maybe the sunlight was a culprit too.  I am desperately trying to lose weight, so I don’t pack enough food on my hikes.  I really struggle to lose weight at home with the fridge nearby and with always having to cook really fattening foods for  my dying spouse.  If I go hiking far from the fridge, with too little food then I have no choice but to lose weight.

One hike out I found the very rare plant Hemitomes congestum

On the way out I found the road I had meant to start on and I hiked on it until I reached the main road and then I hiked back to my car on the main road.  I will be back to this delightful area.  I really had a good time on this hike.

7.5 miles with 200 feet elevation gain.

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