I felt pretty tired and sore, so I planned on a short hike today at Kickapoo. I started on the Riverview trail that I've been on dozens of times, and after the first half mile I was sure I didn't want to go much farther. But when I got up to Emerald Pond, I decided to do a little exploring, and I discovered that the peninsula that sticks out into the pond, that I thought was just a little fishing spot, is the start of a path that goes all the way across the pond (over a culvert that I thought was discarded junk) and then follows the river for a surprisingly long way. I think it passes through the Twilight Zone, too. I found myself in an almost familiar area, but a mowed trail that should have formed a loop just ended at a small trail into the woods, which went along a very steep hillside (it would have been impassible if the trail were even slightly wet) and came out at the spur of the Out and Back trail that joins the river. The way it lined up, the almost-familiar area had to be new territory. I backtracked along the mowed path that just ended and ended up coming out on the haul road. Like some alternate universe, one end of the trail was well-known territory but the other end was just wrong. I followed the Out and Back trail back out, and then completed the Clear Lake loop to return to my car, feeling better than I had half a mile into the day. I suspect my legs are not going to be on speaking terms with me for a couple of days, but I seem to have come back to the universe I started in. I've got to find a map and see if I can make it make sense.
There are very few flowers left and I only saw a couple of butterflies all day. We haven't had an official freeze, but the frosty mornings have pretty much ended the season.
That's most of the story, now here are the pictures.
Fall colors from the parking lot at the start of the Riverview Trail.( Collapse )