Tag Archives: Ice Age Trail

Spring Hike at Bald Bluff

At some point in early May, it occurred to me that Jason and I were less than a month away from our big summer vacation that would include major hikes and adventuring…and we had been doing nothing more than sitting on our butts for the last several months. Knowing our destination well at this point – Yosemite National Park – I didn’t think it was the best idea to head into this adventure having done no hiking beforehand. So I suggested a Saturday morning hike to Jason.

IMG_0908

We had hiked the Bald Bluff Nature Trail once before several years ago. The trail starts out with a series of switchbacks to get up to the overlook. And if you continue hiking along the intersecting Ice Age Trail, you’ll have to hike back up to the bluff once more to get back to the parking area. With more mountainous hikes in our near future, I thought this made a good choice for working our legs a little.

Bald Bluff isn’t necessarily the most scenic hike, but it is the highest point in the county. So it has that going for it.

IMG_0909

We decided to bring Bailey with us on our hike, which did not make Thea very happy. We have taken both dogs with us hiking a few times, and unfortunately it isn’t much fun. The two together get too excited and feed off of one another’s energy. They become hard to control, which takes the joy out of the whole hike. We were particularly happy we only had one dog with us when we came upon a family with little kids on the trail. Bailey alone was very calm. If we had both dogs, it would have been chaos.

IMG_0913

After reaching the overlook, we continued along the Ice Age Trail for another 15 minutes or so before heading back. This took us much farther into the woods around Bald Bluff than we had gone before. It’s quite pretty. Next time, we have to make sure to keep going all the way to the Stone Elephant (about 1.5 miles along the Ice Age Trail beyond the Bald Bluff overlook).

IMG_0924

Despite having to deal with a few ticks afterwards, we had a nice morning hike. We didn’t hike again until we were in Yosemite, so conditioning ourselves for our trip still didn’t happen (and we paid dearly for it). But at least I had good intentions, if only for a brief moment.

Hiking in 2011

Similar to what happened in 2010, Jason and I were really good about getting out to hike every week…until after our summer vacation. To be honest, our motivation to hike this past year diminished greatly once we found out our Yosemite High Sierra Camp loop trip was cancelled  🙁

Despite not getting out nearly as much as I would have liked, here is a look back at our 2011 hikes.

How Many John Muir Trails Are There In the World?

Backpacking Recon

Ice Age Trail Near Lone Tree Bluff

Ice Age Trail, Pre-Downpour

National Trails Day 2011

National Get Outdoors Day 2011

Ice Age Trail, Scuppernong River Habitat Area

Ice Age Bust

Hiking Lembert Dome (THE hike this year)

Dark Hollow Falls

Stony Man

Ice Age Bust

Again with getting back on track – Jason and I headed out for our regular hike after a one-weekend hiatus.

Today, Jason drove us to the Whitewater Lake area to do some Ice Age hiking. We parked at the Whitewater/Rice Lakes Contact Station and took the short access trail from there to the Ice Age. The next 3/4ths of a mile pretty much sucked…in my book, anyway.

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

The access trail was beautiful – open, clear. Then we hit the Ice Age intersection. If we had turned right, we would have connected to a portion of the Ice Age we hiked last summer. Not that it would have been a problem, but we always enjoy trying out new trail to hike. So we turned left into overgrown trail land.

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

The overgrowth wouldn’t have been a huge deal except for the poison ivy  😯

Now, I have a little beef with the educational blurbs about poison ivy. “Leaves of three? Let it be.” Really? Do you know how many plants can have what appear to be “leaves of three?” To date, I still have not been sure about what poison ivy really looks like. Then we stumbled upon this ramshackle portion of trail. “Leaves of three” were everywhere!

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

There were also a lot of plants that appeared to have “leaves of three,” but that weren’t poison ivy (or so thinks Jason). See? It’s too confusing for me. I would just prefer not to encounter it at all.

Finally, we left emerged from the worst of the trail to a boardwalk and bridge over a small creek and wetlands area.

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Just beyond the creek, we came to Clover Valley Road. The Ice Age follows this road for several miles to the west. So at this point, it was either turn around to retrace our steps or walk the road to the east to return to the car. The road definitely won out.

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

The road took us past Rice Lake, a smaller body of water adjacent to the larger Whitewater Lake.

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

Ice Age Trail - July 2, 2011

The “hike” back to the car wasn’t very exciting, but I much preferred it to slogging through grass, vines, and possible poison ivy. We’ll make a better choice next weekend  🙂

Now, I must get to my major project for the weekend – working on my Yosemite 2010 scrapbook. I am determined to get that album finished before our return trip in TWO WEEKS!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...