Wanting to check out the fall colors on a nice day I headed out the Indian Creek Nature Trail again. The creeks were going strong after another somewhat unexpected rain, but now carried along rafts of fallen leaves to downstream destinations. The mushrooms were now just about everywhere you looked, including the impressive specimen below:
mushroom along Indian Creek
Several windy days in the week before managed to take down a number of trees, random branches, clumps of moss, and zillions of leaves, coating everything with a colorful layer that further enhanced the spongy ground underneath, if only temporarily. In some spots it resembled the aftermath of some New Year's Eve celebration by the forest inhabitants...
upper bridge over Indian Creek on Nature Trail
After waiting for the results of a brief snowfall to melt away, I wanted to visit Mt. Eddy again before the next one, which might not melt away as fast. I got a somewhat late start due to my slow adaptation to the recent end of Daylight Saving Time, a layer of fog, and an almost-full moon.
The trail in to the Deadfall Lakes was blocked here and there by downed trees, but the weather was calm and it was only on the last stretch of switchbacks below the summit that I became aware, often quite acutely, of a strong north wind.
The view from the top was even better than the last time I was up here (during a period of smokey forest fires) but after a half hour of wandering around and checking out the unusual rocks everywhere I headed back down, making it a little over 12 miles round trip from the trailhead.
looking at Mt. Shasta from Mt. Eddy
Vine Maple and Alder leaves along Root Creek
Dreary weather in the Mt. Shasta area prompted me to head down to the Crags to get a little sunlight. "A little" is about all that I could find, but the ground was soft, the forest was quiet, and I had to step carefully amid a carpet of mushrooms everywhere I walked.
Soon the sunlight went bye-bye and the cloudcover lowered enough to make it seem like I was walking around indoors, but the creek was flowing and there were always leaves to look at. About the only creature I saw was a solitary newt making its way along a downed log, but bear tracks were still showing up now and then.
old railroad grade above Castle Creek
Another overcast day and I decided to follow an old logging railroad grade that contours along Castle Creek south of the Park. It must have been fun to take a ride on this railroad when it was operational, but judging from some of the trees that had grown up in the roadbed it seemed like that would have happened a long time ago. I snaked in and out of drainages until a logging road cut across and then I followed it down to the creek, then meandered back the way I came. No matter how threatening the sky looks, there's always something to see and do under the canopy of the forest, and yes, there were mushrooms everywhere I looked.