The weather has been much cooler. On Sunday, Sarah and I decided it was time for some hiking … something we don’t like to do when it’s oppressively hot. In fact, typically we do most of our hiking in the winter, but we are branching out a bit.
It rained on and off all day, but we really wanted to get out. We discussed possible trails and settled on the Sycamore Loop, a trail we’ve hiked a couple of times before.
We thought the rain was done, but as we were getting ready, we looked outside, and it was raining again. No worries, we just put some ponchos in my pack, and we were ready to go. I was going to take my DSLR on this hike, but given the rain, I decided against it. Here’s a map of the hike.
We started off on a fire road, then turned onto the trail. At this point, the rain had stopped and it was rather sunny. We were all excited to be out in the woods.
Here, you can see that Rob was sitting for the photo, as instructed, but facing the wrong way …
At every opportunity, Rob would lay down in a puddle or creek.
Though many of the creeks were dry, like this one.
Not to be deterred, Rob found another secret swimming hole, this one about two feet in diameter.
After that diversion, we were moving again. The trail was getting a bit overgrown in places, though not entirely. Here’s “dog’s eye view.”
We found lots of these little orange/yellow flowers.
It was a great day to be in the woods. Then, it started raining. We put on our ponchos.
Sarah was wearing her “wedding poncho,” though fortunately she did not need it on our actual wedding day. No one told me just how much I looked like Little Red Riding Hood in my red poncho. Next time, I’ll have to bring a wicker basket.
The rain wasn’t bad at first, but it picked up some more. For a while, it rained hard. We really didn’t mind. The cooler weather was wonderful, and we got a little wet, but the ponchos worked well enough. We were in pine forest for a while, with very tall pines. With a bit of fog/mist from the rain, it looked beautiful.
After a while, the rain subsided and we no longer needed our ponchos. We passed some more scenery, such as this pond, right by a campsite.
And this was just one of many shaggy trees.
This segment of the trail felt longer than I remembered. There’s a long, gradual climb out of a ravine that just goes on and on. At times the wind would pick up and we would hear the leaves rustling, and water being blown from the leaves, falling to the forest floor. Then the wind would travel slowly through the trees, the falling water moving toward us, washing overhead and finally moving past us. The canopy was so dense that we didn’t even get wet when this happened, but it was really something, hearing it overhead.
Eventually we reached the fire road and headed back.
It was a great hike — it was either 5.3 or 6.7 miles, depending on which program you believe. Something is screwy with my GPS track on this one — oh well. In the past, it’s been around 7.5 miles, but in those cases, we had added on a little extra side trip.
It’s definitely time for more hiking. There are many great options around here, and we tend to do some of the same repeatedly. I hope we can explore some new trails soon.