Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Last Leg Of The Jug End Ridge Hike

It'd been a glorious hike to the Jug End Ridge and we were making the return trip back to the trail head. We arrived at a split log water crossing though my four dogs ignored it and simply trudged through the water:

And then a plank walkway over a muddy spot. I found it quite lovely, actually, as it snaked its way through the forest. But then I was extremely tired so perhaps my judgments were not to be trusted:

By this time even lively little Daphne was wearing out and stopped in the middle of the planks to look up at me plaintively. Sorry, Daphne, there's nothing to be done but keep on hiking:

But we of course did reach the trail head at beautiful Guilder Pond. I estimated that we'd hiked ten miles so far and our car was parked another two miles down the road:

In spite of all the colorful and varied mushrooms I'd found on the hike, I was a little disappointed that I'd seen no slime molds. Then I saw this tree trunk on the shore of Guilder Pond:

Was this a slime mold? I'm not sure, but the answer is a definite maybe:

We began walking down the washed out gravel road. Fergus suddenly felt a burst of renewed energy and ran around the edge of the pond to explore:

Seamus took a side trip also, apparently feeling the need to check for whatever it is dogs check for:

But as for me, I slogged tiredly down the gravel road. My toes hurt from jamming into the front of my shoes on the sharp declines in the trail, so much so that I tried walking down the road backwards. That, as you may guess, did not go well. You can certainly see here how much damage Tropical Storm Irene did to the road and why it'd been closed to vehicles:

And then I spotted a florescent orange slime mold on a tree stump. At least I'm pretty sure that's what this was. Luckily, it was right next to the road because I would have been too sore and tired to walk into the woods to take a picture:

And eventually we reached the locked gate and my parked car. Several other vehicles had been parking there but were just leaving. The dogs weren't even interested. They just wanted to get into the car and lie down. Me too, but I first had an hour and a half drive. But I'd been promising myself to return to Jug End Loop for a decade and I'd finally made it. Well, almost. But this would have to do for the time being:

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