Friday, March 4, 2011

Little Frog on March 2

Including our leader, Gary Smith, we had 20 meet at Power House No. 3 near Thunder Rock and shuttle up to the trailhead a couple of miles away.  We jumped on the trail together, but ended up making our way in 3 groups. The usual suspects were in front! Richard, formerly known as Rabbit, and now identified as Cougar (is that better?), sprinted ahead with Wayne, Monty, J.D., Larry, and Debbie. Then, there was Che, John, Arlene, the Chronicler, Bill and Patti strung out in the middle. Che and John hung back to hike with Cecile, Susan, Ray, Diane, Bob, and Cynthia. 

We hiked up and down the ridges that connects the mountain range, all the while at a good, steady climb. There were a couple of spots with trees down and it required some scrambling over, under or through.We were teased with  tantalizing views of mountaintops when we were on top of the ridges. I'm pretty sure we saw Sassafras Knob. Eventually, we made it to scenic Rock Creek. To get to the other side, one had to rock hop or, as some did, cover their boots with plastic bags.

The early birds had their lunch and enjoyed chatting and watching the others show up and maneuver across the creek! We were all together for a short while and then, with permission from Che, the faster groups started out again. However, it was noted after we left that we didn't get our chocolate!! Che was still across the creek when we left. (NOTE TO SELF: Stay where Che is for chocolate!!)

These last 3+ miles were enjoyable as we started out alongside the creek piled with boulders and rushing water descending down the mountain. The trail undulated beside the water for a good distance.

Despite a lingering winter chill, this area fairly burst with lush shades of green from several varieties of moss. We took time to inspect this one rock which had at least four types!

Eventually, we began to climb up and away from the creek
and we came to the top of the ridge with the trail marker. We all stopped to check out the signs and get our bearings before turning left and angling down the mountain. Larry had some issues with the distance. I think he questioned Lou..who was quoting, Gary..but's all good. :-)

We enjoyed a burst of energy when we caught sight of the tower at the Powerhouse. Soon, we were crossing the highway and joining the Cougar group. We found out the over-achiever had taken off up the highway to fetch a vehicle back to us. Now that's what I call a good guy. He shuttled Debbie and I up to get our vehicles, and when we got back to the Powerhouse, the other group was emerging from the trail. It was a beautiful day, and a great hike with some wonderful folks! By the way, Che dispensed the much sought after chocolate at the Powerhouse! We love our Che!!

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