Once we completed the watershed tour, Ellen and I sat on a bench near the rain drums and ate our sack lunches...all the while looking at Rattlesnake Ledge. The trail winds up around this peak across the lake. It's a 2 mile trail that rises 1,175 feet in elevation. The trail tops out on the treeless edge of rock on the right side of the peak...hikers who make the top look like ants from this viewpoint.
Now I can walk all day on a level path, but I'm not great on hills. And I get vertigo. Ellen, however, is training for the Himalayas. She's going in November. I said I'd go as far as it was fun. And it wasn't bad, except that as we neared the top, people started running down hill towards us, and I got scared. We turned back about 3/4 of the way to the top...here's the view:
By turning back, we did get to see a couple of cool things!
The plant above is called an Indian Pipe, or Ghost Plant. The Latin name is Monotropa uniflora, and it's a saprophytic plant, or a parasitic plant that does not produce any chlorophyll. It's the first one I've seen, and I found it strangely beautiful.
The coolest thing happened after we got back to the lake. I picked a table off in a little opening by the edge of the water to eat my last sandwich. I didn't get a picture of the Osprey (Pandion halietus)that appeared over the willows, hovered for a moment, then hit the water right in front of us! We couldn't believe our luck. The bird disappeared under the water, and came back up without a fish. It was amazing to be standing right there when it happened. I didn't even care that I couldn't get a photo.
All in all, it was a great day, and we had such a good time. I'd recommend the watershed tour to anyone - it's well worth the $10.00 it cost, and the visitor's center is free, as is parking - but be careful not to park in the Iron Horse State Park lot without a Discover Pass.
Links to Cool Sites:
My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books
- Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
- Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
- Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
- Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
- Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries
My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books
- "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
- Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
- "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
- Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
- Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
- Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
- Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"