Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hot as a Firecracker

I write this entry from the comfort of my air conditioned little shed. Outside, it's anything but comfortable. I just watched the digital thermometer move from 99 to 100.  Summer.

I am glad I woke up early and headed for an even higher mountain than I live on for a "before the heat wave" hike.  It was quite nice at 7 a.m. hiking a stretch of the Appalachian Trail from the top of the Hot Springs, NC mountain to the Rich Mountain fire tower. 

I'm not sure how far it is, but the tower, itself, makes the walk worthwhile.  From the lookout on the tower I can see for miles -- facing east -- everything in front of me is North Carolina -- behind me is Tennessee. In fact, the tower, situated in North Carolina, is very close to the state line.

These walks are always exhilarating and if I'm lucky I might see an animal or two along the way.  A few years ago as I ascended Rich Mountain I encountered a peacock. Strange, yes?  It was standing in the middle of the trail and appeared to be lost.  I often wonder whatever happened to it. Did it find its way back home or did the coyotes get to it first.  It was a beauty.

This morning I spotted the less exotic -- robin, a squirrel or two and a shiny black snake.  He/She was relaxing in the middle of the trail -- and not wanting to interrupt its rest -- I climbed the bank and made my way around it.