|The trail to Bagby runs along Nohorn Creek|
|Devil's Club berries provide stark color contrast in the forest undergrowth|
|A fingerling trout, camouflaged but betrayed by his shadow|
When we arrived the parking lot at the trail head was full. A plaid-shirted volunteer, an older fellow named Norman, had set up his trailer there, where he might keep an eye on parked vehicles to prevent thefts. There were many folks of all ages on the trail, and the only danger I could imagine would have been a tumble into a rocky ravine or stream bed.
|If you don't ramble, you grow moss|
We went up another mile or so into the woods and found a gravelly beach along the creek. We didn't yet know that Portland was cooking, but we were plenty warm from our hike. So the coolness of the water, when we forded the creek, was bliss.
After we'd sat for a while, munching fruit and sandwiches, we were discovered by stinging flies, which swooped in for a bite.
At one point, a fly landed on my left forearm and as I raised my right hand to swat it, another, bigger fly, a predator species, swooped down and plucked the first fly off my arm. It all took less than a second, but I was struck by the incident. Wheel of Fortune, indeed. And, like Hobbes said: "...[natural] life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
|Have a soak!|
And, after all, it's Bagby Hot Springs --a rite of passage.
Update: Thanks, Shusli, for correcting me. What I had identified as elderberries are, in fact, Devil's Club.