There are days when you don’t want to travel too far but you definitely want to go somewhere new. Sunday was like that, so we drove northeast a bit and then probed the back roads for miles, bumping down an old pot-holed logging road into a state forest, where we found gold. Well, golden leaves anyway, and a deep gorge, thundering water, pockmarked rock formations, mushrooms galore, and a fanciful, moss-hung forest.
We were plunged into the midst of vibrant, lush growth, from the forest floor to the treetops far above us. The older trees, with their strange shapes and moss-covered trunks. seemed possessed of distinct personalities.
The deep gorge was lined with slippery rocks, twisting roots, and precarious precipices. It was impossible to see the whole waterfall, but the loud roar of water plunging down through ink-black rock told the story.
One way to peer into the dark recesses of the gorge would be to crawl out on one of the tree trunks that spanned the gorge. I didn’t do that, but I did creep out as close as I dared to the edge on both sides of the gorge to peer down at the water below.
I kept getting distracted by tiny lichens and mushrooms in all shapes.
Coral mushrooms of an indescribable hue grew undisturbed behind fallen logs. Bits of lichen, fallen from branches high above, littered the forest floor.
I kept wishing for the sun to come out – the forecast was for morning fog to burn off and it was already mid-afternoon. Finally blue gaps in the clouds appeared, and then a burst of gold penetrated the thick growth.
Back on the road, there was enough space between towering fir trees to see the bright October sky and sunbeams displaying golden Bigleaf Maple leaves above us.
Our legs were weary from climbing up and down the steep, twisted paths. We had discovered a new place not too far from home, and as we got into the car we wondered what that “creek” must look like after the spring snow-melt. We’ll be back.