A family friend’s son has come to the East Coast for college. Having grown up in the western deserts, he was thrilled to see a four-season Fall this year. We invited him to come out to our cabin in the Appalachian Mountains for a little color change. Such novelty and enthusiasm, he had for the weekend.
As summer temperatures have lingered around, we could not say that the mid-7o’s was representative of Autumn, but it did make for a good hike in our local state park. We connected several portions of trails to hike up to Cranny Crow overlook. This gives one views south-east to Virginia, and west several ranges over in West Virginia.
The hike is through an oak-hickory forest. The rain that week had knocked down many of the leaves that had turned red on the dogwoods and black-gum trees. But the hickories gave splashes of yellow against the still-green oak trees.
From the rock out-crops at the top of the hike, we had clear views of the valleys. A few vultures drifted on warm up-drafts. At the top, we pulled out our Pullman’s lunch of bread, Stilton cheese, and apples. Did I mentioned that the elevation change from the creek to the crest is about 800 feet? Steep enough to allow us to leave the sweat shirts in the car as we would warm up internally from a bit of exertion.
As our hike was mid-day, the forest critters were mostly bedded down. We saw a few chipmunks and squirrels, but none of the large animals. A timber rattle snake had found one of those forest rodents for lunch too. Oh, did I mention rattle snake on the trail? This is Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
Our student guest has some tales to tell back at school.