Indian River Valley

Today was my brother’s last full day in town, and after raining most of the week he’s been here, the day dawned sunny and the weather forecast was decent. We decided to take advantage of it and headed up Indian River valley with Connor and Rowan. Rowan started out in front and took a pretty good pace that I had to work to keep up with. Connor and Jonathan lagged a bit behind at times.

It was interesting to note the evidence of high water on the trail. There were a few places it looked like water had actually flowed over or down the trail and plenty of other locations where it was apparent the water had been quite high. One thing that struck me was how the overall smell was of dead fish. In contrast to yesterday’s hike up Herring Cove, I never really caught the smell of devil’s club.

As we walked up the long muskeg, we heard what sounded like a Red-tailed Hawk. Knowing that Steller’s Jays can imitate the hawk’s call, I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, but we were eventually able to spot the hawk in the trees towards the Gavan side of the muskeg. It kept calling as it moved between the trees. At one point we caught a quick look at a Sharp-shinned Hawk (that might have taken a dive at the Red-tailed Hawk), but the ravens chased it off (they didn’t seem concerned with the Red-tailed Hawk).

At the upper end of the long muskeg, Connor decided he wanted do some target practice with his bb-gun. I was hoping to get back in time for Tlingit class and Rowan was ready to head back, so she and I started down while Jonathan and Connor hung out. In the end, it didn’t take them long to catch up with us because we got distracted by juncos that sounded like they might be alarming, and went we went over to where they were calling from, found an interesting patch of muskeg that we took some time to check out.

On the way back I was talking with Rowan about where we were on the trail (and how far we had left to go), and I realized I had the sensation that it took much less time to get back when I carried the awareness of many places recognized with personal/descriptive names along the way. Among these places are ‘bear bridge’, ‘heart stump’, ‘squirrel meal seat’, ‘finger through wood’, ‘dark reflecting pool’, ‘rope swing pool’, and ‘spruce burl’.

(more photos to come)

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