Hiking “Dead Roads”
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Hiking “Dead Roads”
The other day, out riding around and hiking in the national forest, we came across a series of “dead roads.” I was excited that we found new places to hike close to home! We looked at the map and started plotting where all these “dead roads” might lead and how we could walk for miles through forest by just following along these old roads that were no longer in use!
A couple days ago we tried to hike this particular road but the forest service was doing a control burn and so we ended up just riding around the back roads. Leaving just in time to hear the fire drop chopper fly over us and an hour later this was our skyline.
So today we decided to take a precaution ad leave a note on our truck along with our cell number so if there was any need to get in touch with us (like they decide to control burn the rest of the forest) someone could call us while we were in the woods.
Down the trail we went through what was best described as a sapling thicket. This road was not nearly as well maintained as the last one we hiked and it was narrowing as we walked in.
The temperature was pleasant in the 70s, perfect for a hike! I had the idea that I would not need a ponytailer but I soon regretted that decision. The forest was very dry and the sun beat down and very little breeze. Thankfully, my daughter decided to “help” me out and put my hair up for me. She grabbed a stick and made a make shift bun! A bit sloppy looking but it did the job!
Debris littered the trail, sometimes turning walking into crawling! Hubby had a bit of a struggle getting his six foot tall stature under the fallen trees.
The few small puddles along the trail had brilliant green ferns and moss growing out of them, the only “life” in the dry dead looking woods. My daughter made a note of how wet the moss was, somewhat shocked by the sponge-like characteristics of the mosses and ferns.
A lone spindly Dogwood tree stood just off the trail, giving us a brief pause to enjoy it’s beauty.
My youngest found some flat rocks and showed me how warm they were. We talked about how some things absorb heat better than others and why. He kept the rocks which my eldest noted would make great “basking rocks” for retiles.
Looking up, we noticed one tree that was brilliant green making it stand out of the crowd of pines. I always talk about how my sun glasses make some things appear more vibrant in color so the kids suggested I take a picture through the sunglass lens. Maybe my “rose colored glasses” only work on my eyes rather than a camera lens.
The trail finally narrowed down so much that we barely could walk it and it was a fairly uneventful hike so after hiking in two miles we decided to turn around and head back. Using my “Map my Hike” App, it says we managed to burn about 1000 calories today on this hike. Any day that you are out moving and getting exercise is a great day, even if the forest is not as spectacular as you would have hoped. Not all trails are created equal!
Educational aspects of this activity:
Life Skills: Trail Safety
Science: Mosses & Ferns
Science: Rocks & Minerals
Science: Tree Identification & Facts
Photography: Len Filters
Physical Education: Hiking burns calories
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