Exploration/ Public Lands/ Adventure/ Nature/ Making friends
The last in the series of posts from my journey to find the Ossagon Rocks in Prairie Creek State Park. As I posted before, the journey ended up being more than I had anticipated.
The fun part of hiking is often the unexpected, this little hike was full of the unexpected. There was the tree which had fallen on the bridge in a previous post and the final portion of the journey held two unexpected surprises. An elk was on the trail nibbling on soft grass, next I got to meet a mountain biker from Austin, TX. Rick was in the area exploring during one of his yearly trips to visit family in the region. He had encountered the elk after traversing the broken bridge on his way up the hill. I ran into both of them shortly after.
Making small talk Rick and I watched the elks huge rack sway across the trail as it inched along while snacking. After 15 or so minutes it was apparent the elk was going to continue along our intended route. So, we decided it would be best to bypass it by cutting up the thick brush on the hillside and rejoining the trail somewhere beyond the buffet line.
The detour though the underbrush was fun. The forests of the Pacific North West have huge ferns, and though they are tall, all of the fronds start from a central point so it’s relatively easy to walk through them without getting snagged. Eventually cutting across the top of the hillside we rejoined the trail. Rick and I shook hands exchanged e-mails and set off toward the trailhead at our own paces.
You never know what you will find or who you will meet on an adventure (big or small). Always have your fingers crossed for a friendly conversation, more often than not I have found fellow outdoor explorers to be exceptionally pleasant.