I checked out of my wonderful lodging accommodations at Rim Rock's Dogwood Cabins and drove to Herod. Of course I had to pull over and take a photo with the Big Muddy Monster (aka Sasquatch) at the intersection of Karber's Ridge Road and Garden of the Gods Road.
|Posing with Bigfoot|
|At the trailhead on Raum Road|
|Mature Oak trees|
|The creek crossing|
|Selfie at one of the overlooks|
I started thinking about and looking at all the plants that are still green this time of year and it’s more than one might think. Lots of ferns like Ebony Spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron), Marginal Shield Fern (Dryopteris marginalis), the ubiquitous Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), Hairy Lip Fern (Cheilanthes lanosa), Common Polypody Fern (Polypodium virginianum), and Common Woodsia (Woodsia obtusa) were still happily photosynthesizing and green.
|Ebony Spleenwort Fern|
|Maidenhair Spleenwort Fern|
|Poverty Oats Grass|
Of course woody plants can be identified any time of year whether it’s an oak tree with clustered buds and signature bark or the winged twigs of winged elm (Ulmus alata) or the remnants of fruits on Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). I never get bored looking at plants!
|Southern Red Oak leaves|
|Overlook with Pine trees in the distance|
It thought would be interesting to put a GPS unit on my dog to see how many miles she travels in a day since she does a lot of extraneous running around and back-and-forth. She definitely hiked a lot farther than I did! But when I got to my overnight accommodations I noticed she was limping. I hope she is just sore like I am, but since I can't ask her if she is alright I will see how it goes in the morning. It's good that there is an option for her to stay at my friend's house tomorrow if need be, but I will miss my hiking buddy. Heal up pup!
Back to the trail, I was curious to see the "one horse gap" section and when I finally got there, I could see why it got the name. The bluffline up to the section was magnificent hiking.
|Ruby looking at one horse gap|
|More sandstone bluffs|
I gotta make some miles
gonna have some smiles
gonna last a while
cause I"m a hikingphile!
Before long I came to the Benham Hill trailhead, which is a huge gravel parking lot developed to accommodate lots of trucks and horse trailers for this popular equestrian area. I was glad no one was there and pressed on. Soon I reached my destination, Concord Cemetery, and looked at the gravestones while I waited for my ride.
|Towers at Williams Hill|
|Today's path is in purple|