Hike 4
Congaree National Park Hike 4 -- September 23, 2006
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I started out my fall hike in the Congaree Nation Park as soon as the park opened.  The early morning walk deep
into the awaking forest and swamp was relaxing, quiet, and almost overwhelmingly beautiful.  The sunlight was
trying to reach the forest floor and all around me were spotlighted areas where brilliant shafts of early morning
sunshine had reached their targets.

Except for three sleepy hikers I saw deep in the woods returning from an overnight stay "somewhere," I saw no
one for almost 5 hours.

It was nice being as one with the swamp this morning....
"Spotlights" of sunshine in the
early morning.
Cardinal flower -- whether
12 inches tall of 5 feet tall --
always beautiful.
So quiet, so beautiful in the
morning sunlight.
Even the spider webs can
not escape the morning
rays of sunshine.
Quiet view from Bridge A.
Bridge A -- more to come
before this hike over.
Each bridge has an
identification letter carved into
one of the leading planks.
"Me and my shadow..."
View looking away from sunrise.
Just past Cedar Creek -- coming
out into clearing just before
Bridge B -- like night into day!
Approaching Bridge B.
Turning around and looking
back at clearing (came from
left side).
View off the left side of Bridge B
into the sunlight.
"Good morning Mr. Spider."
Sunlight reflected -- the water
here was "alive" with water
creatures basking in the
View off the other side -- looking
away from the rising sun.
Across Bridge B and looking
back towards clearing.
Guess which bridge...?
Just across Bridge B -- take off
point for 3 trails. I'm headed for
the River Trail.
Bridge E (there are 12 major,
identified bridges on 25 miles
of trails).
View off left side -- almost
dry "gut" at this time --
leads to tiny pond.
View off right side -- tiny bit
of water in gut on this side
Spanish moss over a 100
feet up!
Red marker for the Oak Ridge
Trail -- shares trail with River
Trail until just past Bridge F.
Recent "blow over."
Interesting roots buried in
dirt ball.
Just "looking up" -- tops of trees
around the 130-150 foot mark.
Another "spotlight"
of sunshine...
Huge Oak tree. My hiking stick
is over 5 feet long.
Looking up along side the Oak
tree -- easily reaching 130 feet
or higher.
Approaching Bridge F. River
Trail will split off on it's own on
the other side.
Yes, this is Bridge F :-)
Water in this gut (narrow
channel of water). Some "old"
guts in CNP are man-made
(done for logging or drainage
View off the right side. Notice
the amount/size of dead fall that
gets moved when it floods.
My "trail" to the right...
Bridge E in background behind
trail "splitting" signs.
My trail marker (blaze) -- White --
The River Trail.
"Recycling" the wood. Old
stump alive with beetles, bugs
and woodpecker damage.
No idea -- must be a "CIA thing" :-)
Check out the "roots"
hanging down from the
large vine.
Almost look like a
"beaded curtain."
Snow-white wood fungus. If
found in your yard, can write on
-- will harden like stone.
Ferns ... beautiful.
Finally -- at the start of the
"loop" on the River Trail. Loop
is about 3.7 miles long. I went
left -- fastest way to river.
Deep cut caused by sharp limb
gouging arm. Like to never
made it stop bleeding. Used
toilet paper/sweat band doubled
to stop it.
Strange grass, flower called
Grey's Sedge. Pods are
Huge patch of Grey's Sedge.
Whole log full of those "white
fungi" that you can write on.
Close up (telephoto) of a few.
Red berries on shrub -- got to
find out what they are -- lots of
them all around me now.
Unusual wide section of River
Trail -- no spider webs to deal
with strung out across the trail.
Huge dry gut -- getting very close
to river. During flood times, gut
"completely" filled with water.
Another huge, dry gut near
river. Notice feral hog rootings
on far side right under green
coming down inside.
Picture/Images Rules:  All images are Copyright (C) 2006, 2016 by Michael T. Bailey Sr., Marietta, Georgia.  All rights reserved. Reproduction,
adaptation, or translation without prior written permission is prohibited, except as allowed under copyright laws.  
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