Monday, November 9, 2009

What in the Blue Blazes??

OK, sorry. It's Monday. ::grin:: Blazes are used on hiking trails to mark the path - usually paint on trees and rocks. Our favorite trail - the Pinhoti - is marked with blue blazes for most of its course, though it does use metal "turkey foot" badges sometimes too. ("Pinhoti" is an Indian word meaning "turkey home", thus it's not so completely random as it seems at first glance!)

This weekend we hiked from the Cheaha trailhead south to McDill Point, and back. It's a trip of about 5 miles, and absolutely gorgeous. The trees had almost completely lost their leaves, so it gave us some beautiful vistas of the valleys.

The first is from McDill Point, at about 2100 feet. We're looking back towards Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama. The second is just below the summit of Hernandez Peak, which is 60 feet shy of Mount Cheaha. The final one is at the top of Hernandez Peak.

It was a fabulous day, with highs in the upper 60s. The trail was much busier than we'd ever seen, but I think it was for two reasons: 1) it's deer season, and you can't hunt in state parks so it's safer to be there, and 2) well, heck - it was an absolutely glorious day for a hike!

We discovered the new plaque that commemorates the Pinhoti officially being connected to the Appalachian Trail (and I actually posed for a photo - scary!)

The rock formations at the top of the mountains were astounding. There were boulders stacked on boulders, looking like toy blocks for giants or - maybe - bones of ancient beasts.

We've also decided that we're going to build up our hiking muscles this winter (you can do that in Alabama!) and next spring we're finally going to tackle the Walls of Jericho. Really. This time I mean it!

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