Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Immersion Therapy

Watching my step in a stream crossing
Stream crossing
Why do I love backpacking? Is it the physical challenge, the satisfaction of finding a brilliant solution to a logistic puzzle, or the inspiring beauty of nature? Yes.

I enjoy the physical and logistical challenge, but for me the real appeal of backpacking lies in nature. To a greater degree than possible through day hiking or car camping, backpacking is a total immersion in the natural world. This is true whether you're walking through a vast wilderness or a local state park.

Last week I spent 2 nights and 2 days just down the road wandering alone through Montgomery Bell State Park. During that time I journeyed 34 miles by connecting various loops and covering the same ground more than once. My time there was marvelously refreshing, leaving a peace and calm that has lasted for days. I definitely need to do this more often.

Here a few pictures from the trip. I hope they inspire you to go for a quick getaway. As you can see, the forest is slowly transforming into autumn.
Wildcat Creek
Wildcat Creek
DSCN2279
Early autumnal fire
Harvestman on sassafras leaf
Harvestman on sassafras leaf
Dried fern
Dried fern leaves
Stream reflection
Stream reflections
Mushroom
Trailside mushroom
Strawberry Bush, or Hearts-A-Bustin' (Euonymus americanus)
Strawberry Bush, or Hearts-A-Bustin' (Euonymus americanus)
Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua)
Maple, Creech Hollow Lake
Maple, Creech Hollow Lake
Maple leaves and Club Moss
Maple leaves and club moss
Club Moss and Tulip Poplar leaves
Club moss and Tulip Poplar leaves
Creech Hollow Lake
Creech Hollow Lake
Possibly Jack-o-Lantern mushroom
Possibly Jack-o-lantern mushroom

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