A Rainy Day Walk in My Backyard (Mink Hills), 24 OCT 2009
For a weekend where I wasnít going to hike, Iíve already done two. Heaven help me if I had decided I would actually hike this weekendÖ
All of us have a backyard. It may not literally be your backyard, just a local place where you can get out in the woods and explore. Itís a place not likely to entice anyone to visit, but itís your place. Perhaps there are things in your place that are special enough to not tell anyone about. Perhaps there are some things worth sharing. I normally wouldnít write about every hike in my backyard, but this was one of those times I thought it to be worth it, as it was a beautiful rainy fall day. Unfortunately, that rain ruined most of my pictures; I must remember a dry cloth next time!
Iíve been wanting to do a rainy day hike, so obviously today would be a spectacular day for that. I hiked up the old driveway to connect up with the trail, surprised by yet enjoying the loudness of a thousand rain drops hitting a thousand dry leaves. I decided at the first clearing Iíd head off on a logging road, bringing me down to a brook, which Iíd then follow back up to the trail further up. Just as I was hoping, I was treated to a variety of water features. A sluice, a series of small cascades, water flowing over a downed log. And on and on. Barely 20 feet would pass by before I had to stop and explore something. It was lovely to amble. Thatís something I enjoy with my Neesh hikes. Hiking to me is generally about enjoying the scenery, but always with a goal that necessitates a fairly quick pace. Today, anything I felt like investigating, I did. A lot.
I left the brook to check the back side of the cellar hole, being rewarded with finding an old wash pan. Back to the brook amongst a blindingly bright carpet of gold on this dreary day. Thereís a ton of rock walls running all over these hills, likely a result of the Merino sheep craze in the early 1800ís. One oddity in this particular part of the hills is rocks upon rocks. A bunch of little rocks piles upon a big rock. Very odd.
Eventually, I hit the steeper, blowdownier section and came up to the ďreservoirĒ, where the brook crosses the trail. The family who lived up here was apparently very concerned about water. Besides the well by the house, thereís another a ways behind them, and then the reservoir, a flat area where the brook flows in and is blocked by a rock wall. Itís missing key stones now allowing it to not be too deep.
I went up the trail a ways, but finally decided summiting Chandler Mink was really pointless. I had seen what I had wanted to see for the day, and after all, it wasnít like I was hiking this weekend.