Enchanted Forest and First Scavenger Hunt 11-5-21

Photos by Kay

Of ten hikers intending to come, five ‘bailed’ due to rain forecast and five ventured forth. Thankfully the rain was very light during our morning sojourn round-trip on the Enchanted Forest Trail and Felton Memorial Trail. This annual hike for Ashland Hiking Groups is always a magical experience, a valued part of our Fall traditions. True to each season on these trails, we collected Big Leaf Maple leaves to grace our homes for the Thanksgiving holiday. And each hiker took home 2-3 vineyard different charms for wine glass stems, to use during their holiday gatherings. Scavenger hunt described below ...

The forest presents such magnificent Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Madrone, throughout the hike. We took the loop trail through the meadow and forest, and paused (as always) to see the deteriorating state of the old 1950s pickup at the old homestead. On the Felton Trail, we were delighted to see more of the valley and mountains at viewpoints less obscured after most leaves were shed. Reaching the Memorial, we took a moment to honor the three men lost to their helicopter crash in 1993. After lunch, we returned to the junction with the Enchanted Forest Trail and followed it a short distance further in order to relish the preponderance of Golden Maple leaves, showing in many shades of yellow, gold, orange and brown.

Kay amazes us with her range of apps that inform us of other features along our hikes. On this day, she identified the Tree lungwort, a leave-like lichen consisting of an ascomycete fungus, green algae, and cyanobacterium (yes, Kay is a scientist!). And, she identified the Rosy conk, a shelf fungus that grows on dead conifers (not edible). Pictures of both are included.

Scavenger Hunt report: AHG ‘elves’ planted the charms along the same trail during Rich Stickle’s group hiking the same route earlier in the week (Monday). A good sport, Rich, placed 12 small charms in spots visible for our Friday hikers, if paying attention for them. He provided me a description of the location for each. Most needed a little hinting to spot one, with the exception of Kay whose trained eyes for spotting birds proved to be transferable to spotting charms on trees.

Each hiker found at least 2 charms. We found 9 of them intact, but 3 seem to have been spotted and enjoyed by other hikers between Monday and Friday. Those three we saw as just the pin or the tiny baggy holding the charm. SPECIAL THANKS FOR GOOD-SPORT RICH AND HIS MONDAY ELVES!

Our hike amounted to 5.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 500 feet.  Following the hike, we all headed to Pennington Farms to pick up savory pies, fruit pies, jams, and many other delicious treats.

Elisabeth

Ashland Hiking Home

IMG_4976.jpg
IMG_4976.jpg
IMG_4979.jpg
IMG_4979.jpg
IMG_4983.jpg
IMG_4983.jpg
IMG_4988.jpg
IMG_4988.jpg
IMG_4991.jpg
IMG_4991.jpg
IMG_5003.jpg
IMG_5003.jpg
IMG_5005.jpg
IMG_5005.jpg
IMG_5008.jpg
IMG_5008.jpg
IMG_5009.jpg
IMG_5009.jpg
IMG_5015.jpg
IMG_5015.jpg