|I hiked the Elk River Trail, the small black line in upper left hand corner. It's a 5 mile hike to reach the small old growth patch. The loop is about a half mile, and then it's 5 miles back to the parking area (11 miles total).|
|Entering the small old growth patch near the ridge.|
|The loop takes maybe 15 minutes to complete|
The trees are not especially big in redwood terms, keep in mind that in this spot, they grow near the top of the mountain. I'd guess the largest were probably in the 30 foot circumference range. I hiked off trail near the ridge line to inspect one large specimen. When I reached the top of the ridge, the entire south side of the mountain opened up and revealed a clear cut. It was fascinating to observe how dry and charred the clear cut area was in comparison to the dampness and saturated soils of the old growth on the other side of the ridge. A few minutes later, I could see why. A coastal mist blew over the mountain top and the canopies of the old growth disappeared in the fog. Small droplets of moisture dropped down from time to time as the canopy captured the moisture.
The hike back to the parking area from the old growth was as quiet and peaceful as the hike to it. Suddenly mushrooms started revealing themselves on the ground. The fascinating thing about mushrooms is that it seems that they are almost invisible unless you really look for them. Once I realized they were there and started looking, they appeared everywhere!
|Mushroom season has begun!|