Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bush Beater

On a glorious day took a walk in Engelmann Woods Natural Area, one of the few tracts of old-growth forest in Missouri:  regal oak, hickory and ash trees. Its lollipop loop trail of two miles is marked, but insufficiently; fallen leaves buried part of the trail, especially the low-lying areas, and huge fallen old-growth trees or their limbs blocked the way a few times, and circumventing one of them I saw no further path. But I did see a bluff I wanted to get to for the view, so leaving my hat on a branch as a marker, up I scrambled.

Got my view. Orienting myself using my hat, I then cautiously picked my way down the leaf-covered, rocky slope and retrieved it. Now to regain the trail and finish the hike--but not knowing where it was I consulted the app called Map My Walk. Using GPS it red-lines your journey on a Google map of the area. (On the map you can see where I went off the trail, around the 1-mile point.) It told me a straight line would get me there. Forward I plunged, calf-deep in thrashing fallen leaves that hid rocks and holes and silt; bare branches of understory whipped my face. Then I saw the trail marker. I finished the trail and went on home, but being lost was the fun part.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

There's an old-growth forest of maple trees near Kansas City too. I use that Map My Run function to plot out my afternoon runs. Handy tool.