Monday, March 9, 2009

Garrett Farms

show on map

"Woke up early at about noon..." Except that it was actually 1 because I'd forgotten about springing forward. Yesterday's time trial had apparently made me tired. No riding today, but maybe I could entice my daughters into some hiking.

"I've seen 4 different waterfalls along Canada Creek, but there's a fifth one, yet-unseen by me, somewhere above Wildhog. Sounds great, right?" No, it did not, but I took the lack of actual tears as a yes and we headed out.

At the end of FS435 there's an abandoned farm, now USFS property. Canada Creek runs through it. Nearly within sight of the farm, we ran into some Rangers from Camp Merrill on a training exercise, setting up an ambush along the road.

1 - Rangers Crossing FS435

I've run into Rangers lots of times, but the kids had never seen anything like it except on TV. At first it was awesome, then they noticed all of the guns, then they got really nervous, then I explained what blanks were and then it was awesome again.

Some Ranger Instructors were at the parking area. We talked with them while a pair of Blackhawks came and went a couple of times. It turns out that the area was once Garrett Farms, or at least that's how it's identified on their map. Good enough for me, I'd always wondered what it was called. The kids found a deflated soccer ball with bullet holes in it and played with it like it was the best toy they'd ever had. When the helicopters were done, we got the all-clear and headed off along an old roadbed into the woods.

Sophie found some soon-to-be-dried-up frog eggs in an already-dried-up rut.

2 - Frog Eggs

She was worried about them but we eventually decided to Leave Nature Where We Found It and moved on... through beaver territory.

3 - Beaver Damage

Iz cleaned several creek crossings. Sophie however, did not. Her shorts got wet, and she began hating every aspect of life. When we got to the falls, life was good again, at least for a while.

6 - Iz and Sophie at Canada Creek Falls (5th Cascade)

On the way back we checked out the beaver dams.

Sophie found their burrow.

11 - Beaver Hole

Iz found some thorns.

13 - Isabels Wounds

At 6:30 it was too late to do anything else, so we packed it in. Sophie was kicking the soccer ball around and suddenly it looked a little like a scene from a war movie; kids playing in the street with soldiers behind them...

12 - Sophie With Soccer Ball Near Garrett Farms

As we were leaving, one of the Rangers stopped me and gave us an MRE pack full of "Patriotic Cookies" which are butter cookies in the shape of Uncle Sam hats, torches and other patriotic symbols. This made the girls' day and must have seemed to them like the most unexpected thing that could have ever possibly happened.

"We were in the middle of the woods... we ran into some Army men and... they gave us cookies!"

No comments:

Post a Comment