Conglomerate, The Rock, and The Mushroom Trail

We walked over a small room-sized patch of unusual rock today, just as we were chatting about the value of hiking slowly. (We’re good at both of those things: chatting, and walking slowly.) The idea of the conglomerate struck me as highly appropriate. Here were multiple types of pebbles of various sizes, and all rounded as if laid down in a gravel bar in ariver, probably over 2 billion years ago. (2*10^9 years ago!). Some obviously granitic, some gneiss-er, some dark and fine-grained. All imbedded in a quartzite matrix. Here also were three hikers, some large, some less so; all somewhat rounded by the experiences of life, all embedded in the shared matrix of hiking together and sharing the Killarney experience.

Last evening Soleil remarked that this was becoming the Mushroom Trail for him. I’ve certainly not seen such a profusion of fungi as this week in a long time. Huge numbers, amazing species diversity, noticeable variations between the dry rock oak areas (which are blessed with an amazing acorn crop this year!), and the wetter hemlock and cedar lowlands, and the pine woods. Stunning! Preliminary observations: mostly ground-fruiting species; only two boletes; few puffballs; few fungi living directly on living trees; lots of Amanitas of varying species; easily over 40 species!

We passed The Rock, the infamous place where I fell last autumn with Ron, ending our hike. We celebrated with a toast to Ron and to the experience (with something Ron presented to me expressly for this event). We were a bit groggy for the next hour or so … (Fortunately this section of the trail was quite simple.)

Actually, we didn’t celebrate at The Rock because I could find it. I thought I had a clear image of the spot — the short rocky climb, the flattening at the top, the rock where I rested while Ron doctored me, the tree where I hung the food I didn’t want to have to carry out. In retrospect, I did actually correctly remember the approach and the rocky clamber up. But the top didn’t look right, so we kept going to the next campsite, where I accepted my inability to remember the precise spot. Interesting …

Despite this section of the trail being mostly flat, there were some good challenges along the way. Several short climbs and descents; lots of wet hemlock roots; many places to carefully plan the next series of foot and hiking pole placements …

It’s now nearly 9 P.M. I’m about to turn off the lights and fall asleep. It’s been raining since 3 P.M., off and on short or log showers. It’s been steady since 7 P.M. I love the sound of the rain on my hammock tarp. I know I’m dry. I know I’m off the ground. I know I’m comfortable. I know I’m warm.

Can’t wait to see more of this Bodina Lake in the morning, especially if this cloud and rain lift.

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