I drove up to Montgomery Woods today despite the heavy rains that have pummeled the area the last few days. It's nice to see the forests getting a good soaking. With the moisture, was this little salamander. Haven't seen many this year, probably because they've been hiding in the damp spots. Now that the rain is here, perhaps they feel more comfortable venturing out.
I decided to explore an area of the park that is off the beaten path. In fact, I'm not even sure I was in the park. I wanted to see if there were any hidden giants tucked away in the forest. It was a brutal slog, but rewarding. I did not find any personal record breaking trees, but I did measure quite a few Douglas Firs.
My bushwhack took me straight up the mountainside, past all kinds of ferns and mosses. The mountainside was very brittle. Often I hiked along game trails, and then would continue back up the mountain.
After a couple of hours, I finally reached the ridge line. I wasn't expecting to see much, but I was blown away when I made it to the top. I had a fantastic view of the forest from a precarious perch. It was incredibly steep, and to slip off might have meant death.
I was much higher than I thought, and I could see the crowns of the redwoods down below. It's amazing how different each of the trees look. I tried to make out the tallest trees in the grove, but it was getting cold.
Above is a panorama I took from the perch.
After making my descent, I arrived back near the creek where I parked my car. As you can see, the creeks are filling with water now, and flowing swiftly. Before driving home, I visited a couple of trees that I found a couple weeks ago. I still can't get over how unique each one is.