Autumn at Croft

Or, “A walk in the woods, pt. 3″.

Sometimes the weather is just “forget about it” for some outdoor activities, but just right for others. Today was one of those days. Early morning started out with low clouds, fog, and some drizzle, making it unsuitable for cycling, and with the low ceiling forecast to persist for the day, flying wasn’t much of an option either. But it was just right for a walk in the woods. So I packed a couple lunches (I get hungry) and headed back to Croft State Park, my favorite, and closest, place to get out in the forest.

The trees were well into fall colors, and some had even fallen on the ground already.

I was following a trail that cut across a road at one point. When I got here, I suddenly felt like I imagine a deer might feel when facing a crossing like this: a little apprehensive, wondering if there might be something coming. But it’s not a road that gets used much (if at all, there’s a gate across it upstream) and I was able to cross without incident.

Kelsey Creek is where I had a bit of a navigational mishap: I managed to miss where the trail turned to cross the creek while another, unmapped trail continued on. I was wondering about crossing the creek, and was rather surprised to come across a road and a bridge, which was not where I needed to cross. I doubled back and got back on the correct trail, finding some rocks to hop across the creek on. I mentioned to the park staff that this could be marked a bit better.

Ah, civilization, a nice place to stop for my first lunch. No, I didn’t take the 3-mile shortcut back to “the barn”, although that was where I planned to end up.

This could be a fungus, or maybe a spaceship, perhaps part of the G’Gugvuntt and Vl’hurg battle fleet. Didn’t see any small dogs, though.

Coming down the east side of the Foster Mill Loop I saw evidence of the tornadoes that went through the area a few weeks ago. As of this writing, the Beech Tree Trail was still closed due to storm damage.

All in all, a nice walk. I guess some would call it a hike, but it just seems like a “hike” should involve more than just throwing some food and water in a backpack and walking off. Shrug.

I probably covered about 15 miles, maybe a bit more with my little side trip, over the 5.5 hours I got to spend there. I certainly feel like I got my money’s worth out of the paltry $2 admission.

Here’s a link to a little bit of video.

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