Sign at the main trail head, Old Sauk Trail
Still keeping to the level trails to baby my mending Achilles tendon, this week we hiked along the Sauk River near Darington. Starting at the main trail head we walked along the river and through the woods in dappled sunlight. There was just enough shade to make it comfortable and not too hot on a wonderfully sunny day. Our turn around point was the Murphy Creek trail head and according the the sign this was a 6 mile round trip but it felt more like a 5 mile hike probably because we did not have much, if any, elevation gain. The trail varies from wide to narrow to almost overgrown with bracken ferns. There is also a wider 1.3 mile interpretive loop trail that branches off from the one we took. The main trail head has parking, a picnic table and an outhouse, Murphy Creek has parking space but no place to sit and eat nor an outhouse. Usually we have a small lunch at the turn around spot but without a good rock or log to sit on we opted to start back and found a dry log with a view of the river after about 1/2 hour.
There were many of the usual flowers in bloom but a few we either had not seen yet this season or ones we don't often come upon. We also saw a red-breasted sapsucker but it was camera shy and flew away before we could get a photo. Maybe next time?
Orange Mountain Danelion just opening
Salmonberries, almost ripe
Queen's Cup -- the first we have seen this year
A large group of Western Coralroot
Closer look at the individual blooms on the Western Coralroot
We sometimes find painted rocks like this one that was almost hidden at the base of a tree
We think this is a Winter Wren. It had the most remarkable, long, complicated song especially for such a tiny, tiny little bird
View of the Sauk River from the trail
The glacier run off gives the river a beautiful blue green color
Many of the trees were covered in moss and lichen
Miner's lettuce along the trail
This is a mixed forest with evergreens and deciduous trees and some old growth