Tuesday, September 12, 2006

dress rehearsal

We needed to try out the new hiking clothes, and the old backpack to see how they would do. There is a new wilderness area close by which has recently been opened up to hiking, new trails with creeks, waterfalls, etc. When reading the trail descriptions online, one stood out as being 5 miles long, with the suggestion of parking a vehicle at each end. We decided to take their suggestion, planning to start out at Mt. Oglethorpe, heading downhill for the most part (dropping 1600' in elevation), and ending up at Wildcat Creek Campground.

When driving to the area we noticed several trucks parked along the road, some painted in camo design, and we asked each other "Is it hunting season?" Since we were planning to hike in a Wildlife Management Area, and since we had left our bright orange vests at home, this was a valid question. We found out that archery season had just started that morning! We hiked anyway. At first I was paranoid about being shot, possibly because of the muted colors of my hiking clothes (doe tan) and my switching ponytail, but I soon forgot to worry and just enjoyed the hike.

A lot of the trail followed old roadbeds - some with new gravel for the hunters. At times the trail was newly constructed. The trail was well marked with blazes on trees and signs, and was easy to follow. We hiked along Fall Creek for quite a while, seeing a couple of little falls, and also the biggest waterfall in the area - Fall Creek Falls which drops about 100'. We saw an old mill and dam site. We crossed the creek several times. We saw 2 deer and 1 deer hunter.

We ate lunch (our standard hiking fare of PBJs) sitting on a rock at the creekside.

We saw the great job done by the Mountain Stewards on bridge building over the creeks.

We saw where beavers were in the bridge building competition also, teeth marks as evidence.

We hiked through huge trees of white pine and hemlocks, saw rhododendrons, ferns, mushrooms, and wildflowers.

The backpack worked fine. The zippers are a little stiff and need some working on - we wondered why they didn't use Velcro - then remembered it probably wasn't even invented way back in the 70s when we bought the pack. The new nylon hiking pants worked great! So lightweight and lots of pockets! Now we just need to recover from this little jaunt before the real trip in a couple of weeks!

Thanks to the Mountain Stewards for all their hard work on these trails and opening up an area in which to hike.


Motherkitty said...

It's not everybody who can boast that they just took a five-mile mountain walk just for the fun of it. I have a difficult time walking a quarter of a mile on the treadmill (but then I have several excuses).

Your picture of the mountain stream was stunning! Makes you want to strip buck nekkid and take a dip.

susan said...

I have several other pictures to post, but Blogger was not cooperating...

Motherkitty said...

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary of blogging. You were one of the first blogs that I found and I fell in love with you and it upon first sight. And, here I still am because I love your poetry, your pictures, your slices of life, and your adventures with your family. You do all the things I wish I could physically do.

Most important, however, is that you share those wonderful things you do, such as taking an old dress and some old quilt squares and remaking them into a fabulous wall hanging or taking an old, tired-out, ratty quilt and repiecing it to give it new life. These acts just show what a caring individual you are.

Thank you, Susan, for being my good friend this past year. I hope we have many more interesting ones to come.