I walked up Indian River today, mostly along the Verstovia side. Originally I was planning to visit the lower cliffs on Verstovia, but I neglected to think carefully about where they were located. On previous visits to them, I either made my way up the trail before taking a fairly direct route towards them, or I took a route up off the valley floor on the lowest slopes of Verstovia. Today’s route up stayed close to the river, until the waist-deep post-holing through the rotten snow that remained in the open-canopy scrub forest encouraged me to seek better travelling conditions off the scrubby muskeg transition areas.
From past experience, I figured the scrubby areas were fairly wide, and I knew that up river the forest opened up into larger closed-canopy forest, so I persevered and made it through. By this time I was up above the cascade, and still was not thinking about where the cliffs were located, relatively speaking. From here, I travelled more upslope, before long, coming to a small stream. At this point, I started getting vague impressions of familiar territory, and shortly thereafter, I reached a stream in a steep cut with loose sides that I recognized as flowing down near the second bridge muskeg from having visited there with my brother a few years ago.
With the realization that I was now much too far up valley, it seemed like a good idea to turn around. I did not really want to slog through the snow again, so I decided to stay up on the slope, where there was little or no snow. On the way back, I did see some interesting things that I’ve not found before. Unfortunately, conditions were not great for taking pictures, but I would like to get back and document what I noticed.
There was a small stream of water that flowed directly over a volcanic ash deposit. What was especially strange to me was the fact that it appeared the ash was much more resistant to erosion than I would have expected. It had eroded below, creating a hollow, but the thick overhang was made up entirely of ash. Probably the channel does not see a consistent or high flow, but it still seemed unusual to me.
There were also some very large rocks that must have come down from above at some point, though they have been in their current location for a long time, as they had sizable trees growing off the top. Perhaps on a subsequent trip it would be worth a little investigation to see if there is upslope evidence that I can find of their tumble.
Although I missed the cliffs again on the way back down (I’m not sure how), I did find the open grove of trees that I’ve previously missed when I was looking for it. I also noted my second banana slug of the year.
All in all, it was an enjoyable outing, but clearly I need to spend more time on that side of the valley to get a better feel for the place.
Weather: Overcast with periods of light to moderate rain. Temperatures were fairly warm. The sun broke out a little bit later in the afternoon.