The leaves are all down, so at night, we can see the neighbor's again.
It's that street light on the horizon shining through the trees.
After a busy week of applying for jobs and a couple afternoons hanging out with friends, we spent Friday off hiking. I sent out an invitation to hike to Ship Rock.
We met up and headed to Kinlock Falls first.
Then made a quick stop by Kinlock Shelter
Finally, we headed to Thompson Creek trailhead to make the 3 mile walk back to Ship Rock (the GPS track log says the trail was 6.22 miles RT)
I thought the kids looked like musical notes.
The trail was TOTALLY FLAT, exactly the way I remembered. hahaha
There were still TONS of mushrooms out, but what delighted me most was the hepatica in bloom in a sunny nook!
|hepatica americana (Hep-attic-ah)|
We took the side trail to Auburn Falls. I tried to come up with an Iron Bowl themed hike for here, the best we managed was 'National Forest, National Champions and Auburn Falls'. hahaha!
The hike was about an hour and 5 minutes to Ship Rock, it's hard to miss. Eye of the Needle-our actual destination-is IN Ship Rock, but we fumbled around a bit before we saw the GAPING HOLE in the huge rock.
Still totally flat.
We popped through the Eye without much drama and climbed down the other side to the creek there. The trail follows Thompson Creek most of the way there, then the creek veers off and meets up with Hubbard Creek and flows back down on the other side as a faster and deeper creek.
If we had waded down from Kinlock Falls, we would have ended up at Ship Rock. Also, the hike we did a week or so ago from Randolph Trailhead would also go to Ship Rock-after you swam for it.
Started what I am sure will be a standard from now on, we had a small fire while we ate lunch. The plan was to be at this point by 1 or so, but it was nearly 3 when we arrived thanks to my side tracking adventures. So we had a quick fire, the boys (mainly young Ben!) doused it with damp sand before we headed back.
We have brought our backpacking stove a few times and made hot drinks and soup while out on a long winter hike, but I really like having a fire to cuddle up to! We will just have to get going that much earlier to accommodate the super early sunset-or hike all we want and then have a fire near the trailhead!
Chandler will not wait for flame, she risks certain death via eating an uncooked precooked hot dog!
(admire her awesome hair)
Jake snagged the ONLY hammock spot on our little beach
Our background noise for dining
Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies topped with marshmallow, Sharkies energy chews and 2 Annie bunnies. Worth the whole hike right there.
The sandstone cliff looming back behind us, we were on the west side of it, so we had the sun longer and no wind!
Elan caught marshmallows, we were all amazed. Also, we did not cut down that live tree, Jake hauled it up from the creek.
Heading back for the Eye, below is a closer shot of the Jack-o-lantern someone 'carved' into the mossy rock above Juke's head.
This one rock took me nearly as much time to traverse as the rest of the trail. I have lost SO much confidence in my balance and strength since hurting my ankle.
But, days like today will help get that strength back! Even if I am embarrassingly stiff the next day!
Sammy opts to skip the crawl and heads right down the cliff face.
Ben does and up and over.
We wanted to tell everyone THIS is the Eye that you have to crawl through. hehehe
From the trail below, you can easily see the Eye just beyond Ship Rock. Not so much when you veer off and start wandering right up there!
We reached the trailhead in the gloaming, I lamented that this might be the hike where we all learn what not to do. No one had a flashlight! So, the headlamps I bought Thursday (and put batteries in, then left at home!) all got doled out and for the moment at least the 5 of us are set. I was just happy not to have to try to make torches or use the flashlight app on Matt's phone for 10 people. At least the trail was flat. hahaha
Pretty good hike! Everyone is ready for next time. This morning after failing to fling herself into the (closed) van, Kaiju came back in with me and brought me my hiking shoes one at a time, dropping them on my feet and giving me The Look. She's hooked.
Matt's pics here