This evening I finished off a day of walking about eight miles with a lovely stroll which was amazingly quiet. I paused to listen to a coyote howl.
The first photo of Mammoth is actually from a few days ago in case you notice a change in sky.
The first walk of the day involved testing out the far end of the Beaver Ponds trail. I found that a hot spring was building up a new terrace just across a stream from the beginning of the trail. Behind me, some overflow had entered a parking lot and driveway. Might be more changes coming such as across the street where a now mostly dormant terrace sits where a tennis court once stood in someone's yard.
I didn't have to go too far up the trail to see that this end is still muddy with snow patches. The killdeer are back, and I later discovered that the ticks are too.
Next I headed up the stairs for my exercise and to see the latest changes in water flow and deposits. The colors seemed especially bright today.
I think I wrote recently about how the water was overflowing the boardwalk leading to Canary Spring. It has now been torn out completely to keep people out until new construction takes place. It's not a spot that can be easily detoured, so I imagine they'll just be putting in a more elevated new boardwalk.
I took a combination of road and trail to get home, and after a couple hours was ready to get back outside again so I headed up the hill to check out my end of Beaver Ponds. The wide open first mile was in good shape but mud and snow returned as soon as I entered the woods.
As is the case every time I start a new hiking season here, I'm still a little jittery about hiking alone in bear country, even on trails I've hiked dozens of times without any problems. It takes time to adjust one's attitude, calm the mind, and become an aware but relaxed part of the landscape. Tomorrow a friend and I plan to walk the dirt road five miles to town to have a beer before hitching a ride back up the hill.
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