Mount Baldy Loop 04Mar2022

On this day, I really struggled to get out to hike. I was tired and had a lot of chores and errands. Thankfully, there’s always a hike nearby. I got myself together and picked a new one.

This particular hike had me starting where some very wealthy homes are located. I felt a little like an intruder, but after starting the hike I was comfortable. It’s a sweet little gravel path, just wide enough for two or just fine for one.

Trametes versicolor

I immediately came across some great fungi! I believe the above picture is of the trametes versicolor, or “turkey tail.” I love these!

I’m not certain about what kind of moss this (above) is, so I’ll leave it unnamed for now, and try to get a better picture next time. I also got an identifier app – something that helps me identify the flora and fauna around me. I’m very excited to use it on my next hike!

lobaria oregana

This one is much easier – lettuce lichen, also known as Oregon Lungwort. Lettuce lichen sounds kinda fun, kinda gross… but Oregon Lungwort sounds awful! Luckily, it’s fun to look at. I usually see it after it’s dried up and fallen to the ground, so it was nice to see the bright green version.

The trail splits to make a loop here, so I went left. The left side had a steep decline, and I thought maybe I’d get an easier climb back up on the loop coming back. I’m not sure how accurate I was, but elevation is elevation!

On my way to the hike, it started pouring. I thought, “Oh man! I didn’t bring my raincoat! Oh well, it’s a short hike, I’ll just power through.” I was very pleased when I got there, and the rain had stopped… and then this happened! Sun! It was gorgeous.

Now that I’m trying to identify plants, this picture just makes me mad. HA! Next time I’ll get a better picture… But the point to this picture was the flowers. It’s starting to look more like spring!

The trail went down to another wooded area, closer to a private road.

I got to the backside of the loop and discovered another parking area/trailhead. This one could fit more than two cars, so I might use this side next time.

If anybody knows what those balls are, let me know in the comments! UPDATE: I did a little research after my husband told me they only grow on oak trees. They’re called oak galls or oak apples! Apparently, non-stinging wasps lay an egg in leaf buds. The gall tissue forms because of secretions from the wasp larvae, and the larvae feed on the gall tissue. The oak bud turns into the gall, which protects the wasp larvae while they grow into adults! I never knew… and I almost wish I didn’t now. *shudder*

Wait… are those STAIRS ahead??

Truly, this is a great little hike. I want to do this again when there are more flowers and blooming things!

This is the other side of the top. I bet this is great at night, with all the lights. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to see the stars…

berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium

If I’m correct, this is Oregon’s state flower, the Tall Oregon Grape! Weird… I read that if you boil the roots and bark, it makes a yellow dye for wool, etc. I had no idea this is our state flower. It makes me wonder why they picked it.

This was absolutely the best part of the hike. At first, I saw the bench and thought, oh that’s nice… a bench to rest and enjoy the view. Then I read the plaque.

While I don’t know her story, I can see she was only 31 years old when she died. I think this is a beautiful lookout, and her family must really love her.

This is right next to Rechelle’s Lookout bench, so I heeded the advice and listened. The wind was blowing through the trees, and it felt nice. There was no city noise, no other people around, just the quiet of the lookout point. It was incredibly peaceful.

I’m not sure why I don’t see these signs until I get DONE with my hike… but I can tell you I’m always on the watch for animals. I don’t always carry my bear spray though. On this hike, I saw quite a lot of skat. After a little (very amusing) research, I am pretty sure it was of the coyote variation. I grew up out in the coastal mountain range, and if I’m honest, coyotes give me the heebie-jeebies! But I’m definitely more afraid of cougars and bears. Overall, this was a fun, short hike. I look forward to doing it again in the summer.

Distance: 2.2 miles; Elevation Gain: 578 feet

Published by aimee

It all started with my friend, Christine. She called me a Viking. It's because I like endurance sports as well as lifting heavy things. Plus, my heritage includes Norwegians... It struck a chord somewhere deep down. I suddenly liked the idea of not having to be a small, slender person. I could be strong and thick. I could have mass. I don't want to be overweight or obese, mind you. I just don't like trying to be a waif when that is very likely unattainable to me. I have muscle (under this fat). I like being strong. So this is my journey of becoming more fit and liking the fact that I will never, NEVER weigh 120 pounds.

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