September 16, 2006.
Huckleberries ripe for the picking, enormous slugs, steep inclines, fungi of all shapes and sizes and a quaint fire tower highlighted the day’s hike. We set out from the Cold Creek trail head at about 10:45. The trail rose steeply right from the get-go, so we took our time ascending. Many conversations and berry-picking sessions later, we arrived at one of the coolest fire towers I’ve seen.Volunteers maintain the building so that it comfortably accommodates two overnight campers. There’s a functional wood stove inside as well as two cots, a nightstand and desk. There is a landing at the top of the stairs that extends around the tower, which must provide great views on a clear day.
Socked in with mist and clouds, we did not get to appreciate such views. Instead, we experienced a brief bit of hail, made time for a snack, and returned the way we came. It was chilly up there so we all put on an extra layer, pulled our hands into our sleeves and realized why so many people we’d seen on our way up were decked out in cold-weather gear.
On the way down, we stopped to investigate nature’s fineries, including slugs, insects, mosses, mushrooms, trees and birds. My companions knew quite a lot about the local fauna and flora so I was glad to get a natural history lesson or two on this hike.
All in all, it was a great day with fun company, beautiful forest, and interesting sights. We might take a trip back this winter.