Friday, August 17

Friday, August 17 - After hiking such a big hike the day before, I planned on doing several shorter hikes today.  Among the hikes was a rock scramble on the Bearfence Mountain Loop.  A loop just over a mile with a section of climbing over and through rocks as part of the trail.  I know three adventurous granddaughters that would have loved climbing those rocks - I now know where to take them someday!  I then pulled into Hazeltop Ridge Overlook and started down the trail into the woods to Powell Mountain.  I planned on just going to the summit and back which would have been a few miles.  I walked through a meadow buzzing with bees, butterflies, and goldfinch.  The edge of the meadow before entering the woods was full of energy and sounds.  As I entered the woods with every step the sounds disappeared.  The trail was on the verge of being overgrown.  I stepped carefully as I decented deeper into the woods.  The sound of a squirrel or chipmunk seemed to beckon me deeper into the woods only to stop to complete silence except for a faint rustle of the leaves high atop the canopy.  No breeze or sounds were felt where I stood.  I had hoped to see some form of wildlife and at the same time hoped I didn't.  After deciding that I had gone far enough. and in looking behind me, it seemed as though the trail was disappearing and the forest was enveloping me.  I decided to head back out and wanted to hear the comotion of the edge of the meadow again.  The trail wasn't too steep but the humidity within the woods was very high and I found myself sweating more than my exertion should have made me sweat.  The last trail I hiked for the day was an easy 2 mile there and back trail.  Pretty level - the Tanner Trail (I don't believe it was part of the horse trail)  It was on this trail that I really slowed down and took my time to appreciate the beauty of the area.  I came across a family of turkey, seven deer, and a young bear.  All in all a very productive hike.  The day seemed to be getting gray and rained seemed like it was on its way.  After getting home it rained for the rest of the day.....good timing on my part.