After last weekend's walk on a reasonably dry Priest Rock trail and a dry week since then, no way did I expect muddy conditions on today's walk. So I was in for a nice surprise (and felt a bit weird since I could not blame any of this on Coach Luap, who was back east on a college tour and had nothing to do with today's walk).
Today's walk featured only three of us: Mrs Notthat, Nna (not her real name), and me. Tomorrow is scheduled to be a nasty day - cold, windy, and wet. Today was just cold and windy, with short periods of drizzle.
The traditional porta-pottie picture. We were walking at Wunderlich Park, just outside of Woodside. Mrs Notthat and I had walked here back in December, but were stopped on the trail by a crew clearing a fallen tree.
Here we are at the that spot. There was a lot of evidence of other tree issues as we wandered around on the trails.
There were a lot of what I think is the best wildflower - these purple iris.
There was one short stretch of trail that we had to walk on both when going up the hill and when coming back down the hill. Naturally that stretch of trail had the most muddy areas.
A really pretty small waterfall. There are a lot of small springs that are flowing right now, and they are keeping these streams going and the muddy bits of the trail muddy.
More mud. My shoes were very happy.
Another small waterfall. These things make this trail very enjoyable with their babbling.
Probably the weirdest thing on the trail - this small boulder somehow managed to migrate down the trail. We followed its gouge up the trail for about a quarter mile. This is obviously a boulder to keep an eye on.
The only real wildlife we saw was of the banana slug variety. There were many of these, and some were pretty big. (Bikes are not allowed on the trail, so no effort was made to move them to safety. Plus the bigger ones looked menacing. This guy smiled for his portrait though. I think.)
Nna and Mrs Notthat in an area infested with wild forget-me-nots.
Mrs Notthat and I posing with the forget-me-nots. (They told me the name of these flowers, and naturally, I forgot it and had to ask what they were again when I downloaded them.)
We came across a tree blocking the trail. Fortunately, the rangers had not found it yet so we were able to struggle over it and continue on.
And that's about it. We walked 10.5 miles, the first half being all uphill and the last half being mostly all downhill. While the weather wasn't wonderful, it could have been worse. And it's worth a little discomfort to get to see the wildflowers and all the green grass and such - by the time the weather really turns nice, most of that will be gone and it won't be nearly are pretty.
That's it - move along...