Again to the Hills (Grants Pass, Oregon) 29-Jan-2021

This is a replacement for an earlier version of this post that had to be retired due to erratic behavior. 😥

After my hike in Cathedral Hills two weeks ago, I promised to come back with The Loved One, start at a different trailhead, and do all of the loops. Today, after several days of welcome rain and snow (welcome around here at least), that promise was fulfilled. Capitalizing on a break in the weather and in The Loved One’s library volunteer schedule, we started from the Skycrest Trailhead (we’ve always started from the Espey Trailhead in the past) and strolled around the Skycrest, Wild Rose, and Outback Loops. The cloudy day squelched the few big views these trails offer. So, when I wasn’t trying to keep up with The LovedOne, my gaze went (again) to the little things near the forest floor. The LovedOne did her share of little thing gazing too. Overall, this excellent leg stretch on great trails came to 7.3 miles (11.7 km) with 1,350 feet (412 m) of gain. As usual, the sun 😎 didn’t appear until just before we got back to the trailhead.

Starting out on the Skycrest Trail
Madrone abstract
On the Skycrest Loop
Madrone abstract
An old oak leaf hangs on
A tiny lichen and moss garden fills a cleft in a madrone
Bone lichen
Near the Walker Trail
Mushroom and leaves
An orange jelly fungus sags
Wood grain in a madrone
Stump
Listening for birds on the Backside Loop
A pond in a leaf
Moldy madrone leaves
On the Wild Rose Loop
New life from an old madrone
Mushroom and tiny leaves
Droplets and whiskers
On the Outback Loop
Stacked tree fungus
Back to the trailhead
Madrone abstract
The clouds parted over Grants Pass 10 minutes before we finished the hike 🙄
We hiked all the parts of Cathedral Hills
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