Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hiking The Pinnacle, Part 1

I was spending a two night visit up at the farm and had all day Monday to do what I wanted. Well, what I wanted was to go hiking in the surrounding wilderness. The neighbor told me about a hike called The Pinnacle, and gave me directions to get to the trail head. It was not where she said, so I began to drive back home again. Then I saw this sign alongside the road and noticed that it said "The Pinnacle, 1.7 Miles" (even if they did spell Pinnacle wrong). I turned onto a tiny gravel road which began snaking through the forest:

The road went on and on with no parking area and no signs. I'd assumed that the hike was 1.7 miles long, but was beginning to realize that they meant it was 1.7 miles to get to the trail head. I kept driving up and up and up, snaking through the forest on a one lane gravel road. I wondered what I'd do if I met another car coming down (I didn't). Then I came to an empty space for about 5 cars and saw, almost hidden in the trees, the trail sign-in:

Once again, the dogs and I had the whole forest to ourselves. So I left them off leash and we began hiking through the forest:

And what a scenic forest it was!:

Glacial erratics were scattered everywhere, and I could easily imagine the glaciers pushing piles of rocks along and then dropping them as they melted. But for Fergus, this was just a fun time in the forest:

Clover knows what rocks are for. They're put there for her to pose on:

The trail turned steeply upward. I'd been told that this hike had a nice view but was much, much easier hiking than Azure Mountain. I liked the sound of both:

The mountainside, I decided, was just as steep as Azure Mountain, but instead of going straight up its side, the trail to The Pinnacle zig-zagged its way up, so it was never too difficult. The length of this trail was longer than Azure Mountain's but it surely seemed shorter:

I kept passing by the trunks of large trees with gray-brown fissured bark and wondered what they might be. I couldn't yet see the leaves overhead and they had no low branches. I guessed White Oak, Ash, - No, these were different:

And then I got a chance to see the younger bark overhead as well as the leaves. These were Aspens, though I'm not sure which one. Or, as they used to call them when I worked on a logging crew, "Mountain Popple." Most Aspens don't grow that tall or get that old. There must have been more sunlight available for seedlings back when these giants began their lives, because there were no saplings growing anywhere that I could find:

I stopped along the trail for a photo shoot holding the two squirming young Papillons. Those glacial erratics were handy both as a back drop and to set my camera on when I used the self-timer. We were on our way. I'll post more tomorrow:

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