On our last day off this week we decided to hike one of our trails in the Wilderness Area, the trail is the Hanson Road Trail. There is about 5000 acres of wilderness in the Baring Unit and about 3000 in the Edmunds Unit. These areas are managed with a "hands off" philosophy. No bicycles or anything mechanical are allowed in these areas. We were on the trail for 3 hours and hiked it to the intersection of the other trail and turned around and hiked it back.
Some of the flowers from the hike are the beautiful Ladies Slipper. It is a member of the orchid family.
The one below is a Wild Iris and they are blooming all around the marshes.
We also had Clintonia, and Canadian Mayflower.
Then came the dreaded WASH OUT. They had a tremendous snow fall this winter with a little beaver activity to boot. Our trail dropped about 20 feet.
We just walked down and then up on the other side.
Now I will introduce you to a couple of new lichens from the walk. We have Lungwort (which resembles lungs) and Reindeer Lichen. Lungwort is a favorite food of Moose, and Reindeer Lichen is eaten by...you guessed it...reindeer and caribou. Lichens take out pollutants from the atmosphere .
During the 40's and 50's, atmospheric testing of atomic bombs sent out massive doses of radioactive nuclids in the air. Caribou ingesting the lichen had radioactive material in their bones and tissue. Indigenous people who ate the caribou had a likelihood of bone cancer and leukemia.
This is a vernal pool we happened on.
A vernal pool is a contained depression that holds water from snow and rain. It does not have fish. Frogs and salamanders lay their eggs in the water and then leave them. Also, fairy shrimp are present. The water can dry up and the fairy shrimp can lie dormant until water comes again.
Wallace made these crude arrows, nothing flashy in the wilderness area, for the hiking society to put up last year and let me tell you they came in handy a few times! It's pretty easy to lose the trail at times. We can say, we had a true wilderness experience.
Just before we went out on the trail, we got a phone call from our friends from Utah. They were on their way to Calais and wanted to come by for a visit. Of course we went out to eat. We had a great time catching up on things.
Meet Della Mae and Grant Gense.
By the way, I almost forgot the lichen pictures.
Above is Lungwort and to the right is Reindeer Lichen. It resembles reindeer antlers. Hope I didn't bore you as it is a long post. Good night!