I surely have been quite a poke writing up my hikes lately. Saturday we had a great day out starting at the Mt. Pisgah trailhead where we met up with a friend. The cars had to be shuttled so the drivers rode off down the road while the balance of us settled down on the grass and the curb for a chat until they came back. Once all eighteen of us were together again, Mr. T started us up the mountain. I thought the trail was fairly easy as such things go but probably not. Been doing this too long to have a good perspective on it.
The trail was pretty technical being well-traveled and strewn with rocks. Mt. Pisgah has a tower at the top as well as a viewing platform and the hiking party gathered on the platform. I, on the other hand, decided to make the acquaintance of several friendly dogs. Once we had taken our group photo of the day, the crew turned around and headed back down the mountain. There seemed to be a lot of tourists on this trail as well as dogs of all sizes.
We continued on past the parking lot following the Mountain to Sea trail towards the Pisgah Inn where we made one wrong turn. In actuality, the MST continues behind the restaurant down a set of stairs. No worries as we were on our way again. The trail starts off very domesticated, wide and mowed with some nice views off to the left but it soon narrows out and becomes much more overgrown. We weaved our way back and forth down hill finally getting turned in the correct direction towards where we parked our cars about 6 miles away.
The group had quite the chatty day and I could hear them from my vantage point as the sweep off in the distance. Typically the hike breaks into at least two groups with me taking up the end. Not always the best spot when the yellow jackets come up but Saturday we were yellow jack free! Yoohoo. The highlight of my hike was the spotting/photo of the monotropa, a relative of Indian Pipe, which is a plant. I had never seen this before and so I was extremely thrilled by the discovery.
Once in awhile I would stop and check the map to make sure we were on course. This is extremely important when you are unfamiliar with the trail. There was a least one tricky spot at the end as it did not really match the map but all was well. The hike continued on over hill and dale, crossing many small creeks until we found ourselves back at the cars. The group opted for supper at a local Asian buffet where we dined on fried frog legs, shrimp, and a curried Thai dish. Yum.
Another wonderful day in the woods with lots of great friends.
P.S. I later came to find out the monotropa above is called pinesap. I haven’t seen any since then but always on the lookout!