Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Solo Hike

 This weekend I gave a tai chi demonstration and did a ton of garden clean up. Why do the weeds grow so fast and the things we plant struggle so? 

But last weekend I got up very early, took a longish drive, and went for a mountain hike. I hike the Gahuti trail at Fort Mountain. It is a fantastic 8 mile, well marked trail. 

It had rained the night before and was still overcast when I started off. I had my raincoat in my pack, but hoped I wouldn't need it. I didn't, but the humidity stayed WAY up all day. I was pretty soaked even without the rain.

When I was a kid, we read the book Where the Red Fern Grows and I believed ferns growing in the wild was part of the fiction of the story. No way ferns could grow in the wild! Well, then I moved to woods of a different kind and saw all the ferns. I am still amazed by them.

I saw this little newt/salamander guy right in the middle of the trail. Didn't he pose nicely?
And I was absolutely thrilled to see that I hadn't missed all the pink lady slippers!  There were a lot of them that had already passed, but I didn't mind. The ones I saw filled my soul with joy!

snail race

As I walked, bird song filled the air, and mountain laurel bloomed overhead.

I began to see lots and lots of pink rhododendron blooming like crazy. I cried out in delight!

I stopped for lunch beside a waterfall--my usual hikers lunch of nuts and dried fruit. This time, I had some oatmeal cookies too. What a fabulous place to stop and rest!!

There were times on the trail when I was literally walking in a cloud, but little by little the sun took over. The last mile or so was mostly uphill. 
When I came to the final look off, I was surprised how near it was to where I parked my car. I knew I could have started the hike (it is a loop trail) at the look off, but I am glad I went the other way around, especially seeing it was such a short distance from the parking area. In fact, I met an elderly couple walking to the look off point just as I was leaving it.

I was hot and sweaty and exuberant. It was a perfect, soul filling day! 

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