Monday, February 21, 2011

Hiking in February

It's a great idea when it's 70 degrees!  Hurrah for a warm weekend!

For Saturday's adventure, we first had to actually gain access to the trailhead.  This involved no mean feat - traversing 10 miles of rather alarming forest service roads in a small sedan.  (In our defense, the Alabama Atlas and Gazetteer, as well as Google, said these roads were COUNTY roads.  Not so much, I say!)  Fortunately, we've been rain-free for a while so the roads, while terribly dusty and completely frightening to drive on, were passable. We ended up at the Pine Glen Campground, deep in the heart of the Talladega National Forest.  It's actually a nice place, with toilet facilities and such.  We parked next to another small sedan and noticed it had a flat tire - "A-ha, we proclaimed - they must have came the same way we did!"

The campground is sited next to Shoal Creek, a wide and deep waterway that is filled with fish and turtles.

We started out on the trail, headed for our turnaround spot at the Laurel Shelter, some 4 1/2 miles north.

Along the way, we hiked around the western edge of Sweetwater Lake.  Folks were out fishing, and there was a boy scout troop setting up camp for an overnight. 

The shelter was built by a small creek, and there were some really cool rock formations.  As you can see, though, I was too tired to really appreciate the scenery!  ::grin::

This marks our longest hike ever, over nine miles!  And I just did the math based on our hiking log (I'm a librarian, remember - I keep notes of this kind of stuff!) and discovered we've hiked over 68 miles of the Pinhoti Trail.  That's pretty darn good for someone who didn't own a pair of hiking boots until three years ago!

No comments: