Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wilderness Plans

So, the summer is upon us, which is easy to discern because of the myriad tornado warnings and humid afternoons. And this brings me to the topic at hand. I have recently discovered that I enjoy... hiking. (Stop sniggering!) Not that nasty overnight camping, mind you - I need running water and a soft bed at the end of the day - but day hiking.

So the philosopher and I are planning a series of hikes (hopefully not a series of unfortunate events!) over the course of the next few months. And it may even involve borrowing my dad's fifth wheel, which is similar to this. (Hey - I said stop sniggering!!)

I can already hear the protests... "But you live in Alabama! There's nowhere interesting to hike in Alabama." Au contraire! Here are just a few of the places on our list. Of course, we're hostage to the vagaries of the weather like any other outdoor activity, but hopefully there will be enough dry weekends so we can make a dent in our list.

Guntersville State Park
Buck's Pocket
Cheaha State Park
Oak Mountain State Park
Talladega National Forest

And we've already visited:
Desoto State Park
Little River Canyon

The Pinhoti Trail is also nearby. We've only hiked from the High Point Trailhead to the Davis Mountain shelter and back, but there are a whopping 120 more miles at our disposal. (Though I find it unlikely we'll visit them all this summer. Heh.) There's hope that the Pinhoti will eventually be connected to the Appalachian Trail. There's a 70-or-so mile stretch that needs to be developed, but wouldn't that be awesome?

For the Oak Mountain adventure, since there are so many different trails and it's a bit farther away than the others, we are plotting to coordinate a weekend trip with the Birmingham Astronomical Society monthly star party and my dad's camper. So that way we get a weekend of hiking with the aformentioned running water and soft bed, plus an all-night-star-gazing-fiesta for the philosopher. Score!

So this library nerd may escape the stacks on the weekends to explore the hinterlands of Alabama. And you know what? She'll have an absolute blast doing it!

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