I was thinking to myself – – – rain, rain, rain go away and come back another day. But, rain or no rain I decided to take an opportunity to spot migratory waterfowl and do a few miles of hiking.
Off I drove to the Carty Unit in the northern portion of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
After parking at the trailhead, the first order of business was to hike over an arched footbridge above a set of railroad tracks. Turning north, I hiked by a cedar plankhouse built in 2005 as a representative of the 14 plankhouses observed by Lewis & Clark in a nearby Indian village. This was the beginning of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, a well-marked path passing several lakes.
Eventually the Trail emerged on a butte overlooking much of the area. To my surprise there were very few waterfowl in the area. Several raptors were floating in the thermals including one mature bald eagle.
Returning to the plankhouse, I headed west crossing a wet, marshy area north of Carty Lake. I was hoping to get beyond the marshy area and spend some time exploring the lakes and fields to the north. Alas, the heavy rains of the last several months had caused the water to rise too high to wade.
In any event, it was a fun but wet outing.