November 17, 2012
I wanted to hike today, spending more time walking than driving. So after lunch I ventured north to Elk City Lake for another hike on the Table Mound Trail, timing my hike so I could see the sunset at its conclusion.
The sun was at the wrong angle for the camera view southwest across the lake, but I did capture a shot of one of the trees projecting above the top bluff. In the distance I saw several small tents pitched near the playground by the dam, and later in the day I’d see the troop of kids marching along the road whom I presume they represented.
Descending the bluff, I took a shot of myself in one of the big cracks in the bluff. Most of the leaves have fallen, making the invasive cedars quite prominent, but I did get one shot of some lingering autumn color. I sat for a shot at the big overhang on the bluff and then bushwhacked down the bluff to what I suspect is an old roadway. I then clambered back up to the bluff and posed under the huge ledge supported by a single column of rock.
When the Table Mound Trail approached the Post Oak Trail, I deviated upward and then bushwhacked off the Post Oak Trail along a dim path leading to a rocky promontory. Then I bushwhacked eastward back to the Post Oak and left it at a large field by the road, spying a deer as I walked south along the top of the mound to see if I could look into the quarry. All I gleaned was a very old sign announcing a future past: the quarry it promised already came and went.
I followed the road all the way down to the camping area and then took the Table Mound Trail back north along the lake shore until I crossed the road and then bushwhacked my way back up to the promontory. I wasn’t satisfied with the view and was concerned that they might lock up the overlook drive, although I hadn’t seen a sign at the gate indicating hours.
I was wise to abandon that post, because just after I returned to the overlook a couple drove up and told me they were going to lock the gate, just in time to ruin any shots of the sunset. (Aargh.)
So I drove down the hill and pulled over so I could stand on a guard rail to capture the sunset. I got one decent shot of the rays crossing the water and used the Toy Camera filter on my Canon Powershot SX-260 as the basis for a vignette shot before the sun went behind a bank of clouds. Back at home I played around with both shots in Photoshop to get what I wanted.
I closed with a full zoom shot of the crescent moon and then drove to downtown Independence, Kansas, through an immense smelly natural gas leak along the way. Downtown is dressed up for the holiday season and I enjoyed delicious baked meat ravioli at Brothers Railroad Inn.
I didn’t track my hike today, but I’d estimate I walked six miles. Hopefully good weather next week will allow me to go on some hikes over Thanksgiving Break.