Friday, August 17, 2018

Trail Run up Hendry's Creek, Nevada

The kids went to 4-H camp for a weekend, which meant I had a free Saturday. Wow, what was I going to do? I felt a little delirious with free time! I decided to do something I like to do but they don't: a long trail run. I wanted to take the dog, which meant the trails in Great Basin National Park were out. So I went up to the North Snake Range to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to Hendry's Creek. There were lots of geology student tents along the way, but I didn't see anybody.

Not far from the trailhead I passed a huge patch of poison ivy. This is one of the few places in the area where it grows (also in Big Wash/Hidden Canyon and farther north around the Deep Creeks). I don't remember so much being along the trail like this, so I think it's spreading. :(

But then the trail goes into the uplands and all is good. I didn't know how far I was going to go, but I figured the high chance of rain might help turn me around. The trail is about 10 miles long to get to the amazing Table, a high elevation plateau near Mt. Moriah. I figured I wouldn't go that far today, but the thought lingered in my mind.

At mile 1.5 I entered Mount Moriah Wilderness Area. It doesn't really look much different!

There are lots of creek crossings. In early June, at high water, they can be dangerous. But in mid-July, I didn't even have to get wet.

It was cool getting to areas with big ponderosa pines. The dog did well, despite having broken her femur a few months ago and having surgery. We've been going on shorter runs to get her back in shape. And quite frankly, a lot of the uphill section of this "run" was fast walking. This photo was about mile 3.

This humongous ponderosa pine was about mile 4. I had turned on the "Map My Run" app on my phone so got an update every mile.

A cool flower, Scouler's St. John's Wort (Hypericum scoulei), that I don't see often.

At mile 5 I saw bristlecones (Pinus longaeva) ! Wow. These lower-elevation bristlecones don't live as long as the ones up on the high ridges.

Just a bit beyond was a nice campsite in the aspens.

And at this eighth stream crossing, a bit beyond 5 miles up the trail, I decided I would take a break and turn around. It felt so good to take off my shoes and put my feet in the cold water. I saw Bonneville cutthroat trout in the water.

I also enjoyed the fireweed, a pretty flower that grows in disturbed places. I remember it well from when I worked in Glacier Bay in Alaska.

I also enjoyed these Pinedrops, non-vascular plants with no chlorophyll.

Bowing to the millennial craze, I took a selfie showing some of the trail.

How cool, orchids! Streamside orchid-Epipactis gigantea. You don't expect them in the high desert, but they can hide out in riparian areas.

It was a lovely trail run, and even though I wasn't super fast, I had a great time checking out my surroundings and just being out in the wilds. My spirit felt renewed from this jaunt. And how great is it to still have places where you can hike/run and see no one!

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