Friday, October 5, 2012

Trek With Us...

Up Elk Mountain here in the Wichita Mountains at the refuge.

Here is where we begin.  Sunset area which is a very popular place with all the visitors who come here.  This is the "wilderness area."  We start by crossing over the bridge where 

we  discovered the recent rain has put water back in Headquarters Creek.  There is a huge persimmon tree on the right.    

Here is a small dam on the right of the trail.

This gives you an idea of what the trail looks like.  There are many rocks to step over as you can see, so you have to be vigilant or else

things like this can happen!!!  I heard a thump behind me, turned around to find Wallace down on the ground.  Both knees were skinned up as well as his elbow.  The elbow swelled and gave us some concern for a few days.  It will be stiff for a while.

Leavenworth's Eryngo

A beautiful purple blooming plant at this time of the year, a member of the carrot family...looks more like a thistle to me.  You get an added bonus with this little bug.  

This body of water is French Lake where there is a dam that keeps water from going in to West Cache Creek that you can see trailing off in the background.  One of my favorite trails starts at French Lake, follows the lake and then the creek to Lost Lake and loops around to make a distance of 6 miles.  That trail was in our blog from May when we were here.

Not only finding critters and scenery, but things like this excite me. This is cement that was put down on the trail by the fire crew back in 1988.  We got to meet one of the men that took part in the trail rehab...Mike.  Following is another find

A rock wall that goes around headquarters office was put in by the job corps back in 1969.  I was anxious to see how many of the staff had ever noticed it...not a one!!!  This is not a drawing, the eyes are rocks.  Pretty neat don't you think...back to the trail.  I am easily sidetracked.

We saw several of these little watering holes put there by Mother Nature...making the perfect bird baths.

When we reached the top and it started to look like this, no obvious trail, we turned around.  People get lost up in these mountains a lot and we sure did NOT want to have the crew take time out of their busy schedules to have to come rescue US!!!

This is the "critter of the day"...a Tarantula Hawk Wasp.  We have seen bigger ones than this with mahogany colored wings.  They require a spider to serve as host for their larvae and tarantulas make the best nursery.  Their sting is among the most painful of any insect, but it takes a lot of aggravation on your part for it to sting.    

There is supposed to be a covered wagon up here...could this be it? Do you see the person on the ridge?  There is also supposed to be a huge rock arch there somewhere...we will need to go back someday to explore a little more.  Maybe you will trek along again.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Ouch!! I hope that Wally's knees and elbows come through OK. We were hiking at Rocky Mountain NP a few years ago when I heard a "thump" behind me. Teri had caught a toe on a root and gone down face first. We thought that she might have broken her nose, but she was only bruised up. It took a few days to get over that one!!

    Otherwise it looks like a great hike.