I am continuity conflicted. I love access to open spaces and therefore am drawn to public lands. I observe the managers of these lands first hand and am often baffled by what appears to be illogical behaviors. I’ll be the first to say I don’t have enough information to critique them. However, why close a hiking trail at 3pm each day to protect eagles nesting and then do a control burn on the same trail. Jokes on them the Eagles and I both moved over to another trail and we’ve not telling which trail.
I had a dorky boss that took one backpacking trip. He claimed is was the greatness experience of his life. He has never returned to the woods again.
I was walking alone through the woods enjoying nature to excess. A thought came to mind “this is wonderful why am alone”. I’m also a big reader of outdoor media (blogs, magazines, websites). I constantly run across an endless barrage of fear mongering. Reasons you might not enjoy nature quite as much as you think.
I began to compose this list of why I might be alone in the woods. What is keeping people from putting on a backpack and spending a week walking through God’s creation? Here is my list. I welcome your comments because I’m sure this is not comprehensive. Enjoy
Reasons you are alone in the woods beside your personality and hygiene
Biting squirrels(Grand Canyon)
Ticks both spotted and seed
Wilber’s and coyotes
Stinging wasp, bees
Wind including breeze
Lighting cloud to ground
Things with little potential:
Rangers (they usually are in patrol cars or directing traffic or practicing rescues)
Ginseng hunters / mushrooms
Trees falling (blow downs)
Lack of civilization:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Powassan Virus “Worse Than Lyme Disease”
Joint ailments or broken bones
Compound fractures (tripping)
Too old, too young or something better too do
Fear of being un-prepared
Fear forgetting a first aid kit
Fear of forgetting a canteen
Fear you might forget to use your canteen
Fear of lack of map and compass skills
Fear of not having the right equipment
THE END – additions?
I’m not a huge fan of snakes. I give all snakes a very wide berth. This week has been nothing but crazy. Everywhere I turn I see snakes! King snakes eating worms, copperheads under my garage floor, bull snakes, rat snakes, a monster water snake but tonight takes the cake. I built a outdoor shower so tonight like every night, I walk out to take a shower but forgot my towel. Walked back into the cabin to get it. Mind you naked, before God waiting for the water to warm, I look to see a rattler coiled to strike. I’ve stepped over this guy twice now!
Like I say “Outdoor showers at night have been suspended indefinitely due to excessive timber rattlesnakes”
We’re been out doing a little OHT trail maintenance lately. Few folks get in the woods this time of year. Ticks are still going strong, deer flies are mature, gnats at peak populations and snakes seem to be abundant. The real nuisance is spider webs, actually spiders. Hiking involves walking while waving a multi forked stick in front of yourself. Kathy bought us bug nets to wear over our heads. I tease her that it makes her look like she is wearing a burka but they work great. Sunday after church potluck we headed out for a quick 8 mile Jaunt. It had rained all morning. The wet rocks slowed our pace as well as a few king snakes eating earthworms in the middle of the trail which had us watching our step.
Monday we walked to the Oark Store for breakfast. It’s a 50 minute walk one way. It’s the greatest idea for a hike. Eat a big breakfast at the half waypoint then walk it off. A huge copperhead was nicked by a car but found coiled to strike, dead as dead can be, right in the middle of the road.
A Bull snake and a large rat snake were spotted around the cabin this week to go with the nice copperhead last weekend.
The deer are getting use to us and are getting closer and closer to the cabin. Deer season (bow) starts Saturday and I got a new bow. Smile
Of course, we lost our chickens to a predator. I think it’s a bear but maybe a bobcat. The house was turned over and the door smashed it. Five random plies of feathers was all that was left. We have seen both a bobcat and bear around.
The cool wet summer has given us a bummer crop of muscadine grapes and black walnuts. Kathy picked a batch of grapes on Tuesday. Then Thursday we got even more serious. We are thinking we probably pick over 60 pounds of grapes so far. The black walnuts are great to pick out during football season.
Learn more here: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/common_milkweed.htm
Overcast in the 70’s made what looked like a perfect day to ride the bikes from Fly Gap to White Rock Mountain. I recently purchased a good little trailer to shuttle the bikes a little further away from the cabin so we could see more country.
This day didn’t disappoint though we did get rained on the pretty good and spent some time under a ledge trying to avoided the heavy downpour. We were pretty wet by then anyway.
The wild flowers were everywhere with the wild azaleas being the highlight. The vistas were beautiful as the road found it’s away atop several mountain tops. We spotted a buck in full velvet.
My son had a new GoPro camera which of course added to the the fun trying the new mounts and such. They are amazing pieces of equipment.
I hadn’t been to White Rock Mountain in over 30 years. I won’t let it go that long again.
I’m sitting on the front porch of the cabin this evening having just returned from a 6 mile hike. Steaks are grilling. Carpenter bees and hummingbirds are buzzing. I’ve sat here most of the day working (real job). I was ready to get up and move around.
We headed up the mountain behind the cabin to find that our logging road paths have been over grown with seeded grass from the erosion control methods of the evil loggers. Waist high grass is not enjoyable to hike in even with all the ticks. (sarcasm) Every hike seems to be an entertaining adventure. The Dogwoods have gone and the ground wildflowers have become amazingly gorgeous for what always seems like a short season. We retrieved the Father in law’s seat cushion he left on the mountain from his futile turkey hunt a couple of weeks ago. We had to practically shoo a turkey off the darn thing.
Wildfire burned the field near the river early last fall. The ugly fire has given way to green grass and fields full of Daisies.
The Muscadine Grapes look to have set fruit. We are always hoping for a cool wet summer so that the wild fruit is abundant., so far so good.
Yesterday, I rented a tractor to fix the .6 mile long driveway then the gravel truck didn’t show. We have an awesome driveway now until the next rain. It was a great way to spend our 35th wedding anniversary.