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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Old Fort Boise and the Old State Penitentiary Trails

Besides Hulls Gulch I explored two other parts of the Ridge to Rivers trail system.

The Old Fort Boise section was mostly open land, but I was in shock from all that sunlight so I checked out the Cottonwood trailhead to try to find some shade.

The creek was nice but I did weave in and out of the treed area to enjoy those balsamroot flowers some more.

In the shade I found new blossoms to investigate.

Out at the Old State Penitentiary there is also a trailhead which was quite popular on Monday afternoon.

Most folks took the Table Rock trail upward but I veered off onto the less used State Pen spur which eventually met up with Table Rock trail again.

After going up for about a mile I decided to spare my knees any further abuse.  My doctor just put me on a new anti-inflammatory (meloxicam) for what is most likely arthritis in my knees and hands that is working great, but there is no need to ruin a trip by instigating a flare up!

The cross at the summit is illuminated at night

The Table Rock Loop intersection was a level plateau below the summit and I ventured out onto it for awhile before heading back for the dreaded downhill knee-abusing slog to the parking area.

It was all worth it when I spotted the Lupine growing on the hillside.

Catching a Magpie in flight was a good reward too.

Lichens flourished on the rock outcroppings, making a good backdrop for the vegetation.

Lucky for me you don't need to go all the way to the top to enjoy the climb!

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