Friday, the weather cleared, so I headed out hiking. Two days of rain would leave the already wet lowlands water-logged. Knowing that mountain trails drain quickly, I headed up Buck Mountain, 8 miles and 1,200 feet. True, but my pants were coated in mud up to my knees by return. Somehow, my pants kept water out of my hiking shoes; lighter than boots; heavier, but drier and providing more protection than trail runners. I was the only one on this back country trail. Side trails were still closed due to mud slides, fallen trees and debris. Ordinarily debris, sticks, branches, and leafy sections are an annoyance, but on a wet trail, debris provides a mat to cross water or sticky, squishy, smacking, shoe-sucking taffy-like mud and sometimes thin like beach sand washing away under waves.
Despite the shortage of flowers promised on-line, it was a good hike. Just me and the spiders sending threads across the trail, and a few bees down below. And, some large creature making a low sound like a lion, humpf, humpf, humpf, humpf, of to one side. Elk? Cougar? Bear? All have been seen in the area. I wish I knew my animal sounds. I made noise to let it know I was here and shortened my hiking poles to fencing length. More humpfs. Soon from behind me. Then a commotion of birds behind and to the other side. Birds warn each other, perhaps a bear or cougar then.
Pics are from the hike.