Thursday, May 14, 2015

South Lookout Mountain

Fog and mist for almost the whole day
Although the weather looked like it would clear up sometime during the day, only seven of us Senior Trailblazers set out for a hike that we did for the first time last year, when we had a view. Ten of us went then and discovered that it's pretty darn steep. We were without our illustrious leader Al, and Sue agreed to set the pace for us. I struggled up the very steep inclines and suddenly remembered it from last year. I had conveniently forgotten.
Carol in the mist
Carol pointed out this old snag to me, which was really beautiful and I asked her to help give the picture some perspective. It turned out well, as you can see; the fog gives the picture a mystery it wouldn't have otherwise. I looked at last year's pictures and found I was drawn to it then, although it looks very different.
Sword fern unfurling
I took several pictures of the flowers, rocks, and ferns as I caught my breath with the steep uphill terrain. I was at the tail end of the group, but since there weren't a lot of us, I managed to keep them in sight most of the time. Mike was back there with me and kept me company. The other five did have to wait for us now and then, as Al's pace up those steep inclines would have been more sedate than Sue's.
Our lunch spot
Once we reached this logging road that would take us to the summit, we decided not to go any farther, since there would be no view, and Peggy needed to be back early anyway. We stopped for an early lunch before we began our descent. We could see the summit through the thick clouds, which came and went, giving us an idea of the last mile of the scheduled hike, should we choose to make it. Instead, we decided to turn around.
Rock with lichen
On the way up, Carol, the observant one, had pointed out this pretty rock to me; I might have missed it in one direction but not both. On the way up my thoughts were occupied with just putting one foot in front of the other and managing not to groan too loudly. Although the steepness was challenging on the way down as well, at least I could keep up.
The fog begins to lift
We noticed that the fog and mist began to lift a little as we descended back to the cars. This out-and-back hike looked very different on the return trip, and only a little while after I took this picture, the sun began to peek through the clouds.
Peggy saw this snake slithering across the trail right in our path, so she used her trekking pole to move him to the side. As I went by, I snapped this picture, but I'm not at all sure what kind of snake it is, not being much of a herpetologist. I'll ask Leo when I see him if he knows what it is. Probably a harmless garden snake, I told myself as I hurried by.
Bleeding heart
The forest is full of these beautiful wild bleeding hearts right now, which look very different from the cultivated variety, but they are some of my favorite flowers. By the time we reached the cars, the sun was completely out and the clouds were gone. We covered somewhere less than eight miles, but we climbed and descended well more than 2,000 feet. I'm well exercised for the day and glad to be home with my feet up. By next week we'll know when Al can join us again. I can't wait!


  1. It's just like being in the middle of an enchanted forest, I kept waiting for a picture of Snow White to appear at any moment.
    Simply a lush and magical place, I'm thinking you had a wonderful hike !

  2. 'more sedate' made me laugh. glad you made it! :) love the ferns! and that's a very pretty snake.

  3. Love that lichen covered rock. And the mist. And the trees. And the growth.
    I hope Al is doing well - and am very glad to have walked with you today. A pain-free walk too.

  4. Loved looking back at the older photo of the snag and comparing it to this year's photo.
    I LOVE the trees in the mist. Beautiful shot.
    Glad you had a nice walk....and especially glad that you are home and resting.

  5. Eight miles on a trail like that is a very good achievement. I find going down tiring, but maybe that's because I used all my energy to go up.

  6. So great that a group of can handle a hike like that with 2000 feet up and down!

  7. I guess maybe it makes me feel a little better that YOU had trouble keeping up. You are such a Super Woman.

  8. I hope Al is doing okay! Oh I hate snakes...none are harmless if they can scare me to death! Thanks for sharing...I suppose I will dream about them tonight...hopefully Chance will save me. The Bleeding Hearts are more my speed...they are lovely:)

  9. Ew, that snake would have killed my joy, for sure. Yes, do ask Leo what type of snake it was.
    Beautiful flowers and plants.

  10. It looks like what we called garter snakes (harmless) in Minnesota. Maybe little Leo might know. Funny, you were just posting about snakes. ;)

  11. Love the misty photos at the beginning. Those inclines are a killer at times.

  12. Someone needs to slip some heavy rocks in Sue's backpack to slow her down. Hope Al will be all better next week and can set a more reasonable pace.
    With that mist, it looks a bit like gorilla country.
    Leo will probably wonder why you didn't bring the snake back for him.

  13. Gorgeous misty/foggy trek!!

    Snaky pathways...well now, that's a whole 'nother scenario. I'd be slithering by REAL QUICK, not taking ANY time to take a photo of it!!! Nosireebob!!

    I have never heard of nor seen a wild bleeding heart. I want one!!! The flower of course.

  14. Wow! You saw so many cool things. I love the pattern of the lichen on the rocks. It looks painted. The sword fern unfurling is gorgeous! I love photos of fog. It's so mysterious looking. But the snake? Hmmm... I don't know if I'd like to see that on a hike.


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