Young 2021 seems to be off to a, uh – difficult – start. The Big V is still raging, vac jabs are in short supply, political anarchy is lurking about, and a pathetic fantasist is pouting. 😦 But this sea of troubles is out there. In here, we’re going for a little walk through little bits of Nature in a little local park (no, not that park, a different one). Are we thus unmindful of the world’s travails? Are we just pollyannas on the trail? Well, no, we’ve never been accused of excessive optimism. We just figure that you can read or hear about the world’s troubles in plenty of other places. No need for that here too. Our posts are, hopefully, just little respites. Think of them as taking up arms against that sea of troubles. 🙂

The Cathedral Hills Trail System, administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), sits just southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. It’s been four years since we last did a long hike there. With a big, wet storm on its way and The LovedOne busy with a Friends of the Library board meeting (via Zoom), it fell to me to catch-up on Cathedral Hills.

I started from the Espey Trailhead under gray skies, took the Outback and Ponderosa Trails toward the Skyway Trailhead, then came back via the Cloverlawn and Zeds Trails, adding a lollipop on the Wild Rose Loop. Despite a full parking lot, I only passed eight people on the trails. This came to just 6.2 miles (9.9 km) with 900 feet (275 m) of gain because I forgot to add the Skywest Loop. We’ll get to the full hike another time, once I can free The LovedOne (temporarily) from the Cellulose Jungle.

These trails have a view here and there, if the clouds cooperate, which they did for about 10 minutes. Otherwise I was moving under gray skies through a madrone – Ponderosa – oak forest, looking down for interesting little things on the forest floor. Was kneeling in horse poop photographing the tiny mushrooms using it as fertilizer better than worrying about the goings-on out there? Yes, frankly, it was. 😀

Never give up
Orange jelly fungus
Tree fungus
A translucent mushroom
Bone lichen
Madrone abstract
Mushroom and bone lichen
Forest floor
Moss, lichen, madrone
A view late in the morning
Tree fungus
Madrone abstract
Mushrooms on a stump
Threads on a madrone
One last view
My route around Cathedral Hills (“S” is the missed Skywest Loop)