Root Creek at trail junction
Going stir crazy after endless days of wind, rain, and/or snow, I trudged out to Root Creek on a partially snow-covered trail. It was a beautiful clear [for once] morning, and in the shade of the forest canopy the snow was as firm as walking on a sidewalk.
The lack of tracks on the trail showed me that I was the first visitor on two or more legs that day, but I did manage to find signs of recent activity as I got near the creek. Boulder-hopping was not something I wanted to do engage in as some of the rocks had a translucent coating of ice, as if they were dipped in clear plastic. I poked around on the trail going up to the falls overlook but headed back before the snow could turn into mush.
A low-elevation, south-facing favorite of mine is the Flume trail. I started at the campground next to the pond and headed out west on the trail, noting that in addition to numerous downed branches, etc. from the series of storms of the last several weeks there was water flowing down every conceivable place where water could "flow down", and some where it seemingly couldn't.
I followed the trail until it curved away from the paved road and headed toward the Crags, then took off cross-country up a canyon and then, with the brush closing in on me, headed uphill to the top of a ridge, then followed it over to the Pacific Crest Trail. Since every piece of brush and every tree branch had rain water on it, every time I brushed against them I got a free shower! Now I know why they're called "brush".
Walking west [left] on the PCT, in a short while I came to the junction with the Flume Trail, and followed it back down to my car. About a 4½ mile loop on the (relatively) sunny side of the Crags told me that it should be a good year for mushrooms in a few months.
footbridge over Dump Creek
A couple days of (relatively) warm rain cleared off a lot of snow, so I again headed out the Root Creek Trail, this time to go up to the falls overlook. Possibly the only downside to the hike was a biting cold North wind, but the farther up the canyon I went, the less wind there was. To say the creek was "roaring" would be an understatement — I heard it much farther away than anytime in the last few years. The trail had a fresh coating of downed trees and branches, and formerly dry gulches were now flowing freely. The beautiful pool just below the rocks had all of last summer's coating of dead leaves and detritus washed away, and looked inviting, had this hike been done on a warmer day.