Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 41: Red Shale Side Creek to Fools Creek

Sierra's 12th birthday!  Warm fingers of sun tickled us awake. We enjoyed a relaxed morning, sleeping in, munching on Wired's Jelly Belly beans (a favorite snack), and sipping hot chocolate on a smooth, flat rock. Even after we started hiking, I stopped to wish Sierra a happy birthday often. 

Although we saw no animals, animal scat can tell an interesting story about the local critters. Bears regularly lumber along the trails here, leaving scat as they go. A wolf or coyote passed by shortly before we did, having dined on a squirrel or other small rodent. And yesterday we found an owl pellet containing the tiny bones of the unfortunate mouse who got caught in the owl's deadly talons.

We climbed out of the burn into the cool shade of an old growth forest with dense foliage blanketing the forest floor.  Mossy creeks wound beneath the trees. We climbed into a meadow teeming with brightly colored wildflowers. The Chinese Wall towered overhead.

We spend several hours basking in the beauty of the rocky cliffs of the Chinese Wall, climbing and descending the ridges beneath it. Then, we reluctantly followed the CDT back into the forest. 

Old growth forest was soon traded for the scarred trees of pale gray and charred black wood as we entered another burn area. We found a tiny oasis of salvaged trees next to a meadow by Fools Creek, and set up camp for the night. 

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