I can’t say I’m particularly fond of being able to wear short sleeves during a November hike, but yesterday was just too nice to pass up. Given all the folks perched on the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain, I was certainly not alone. However, I was alone in sticking with starting this hike on the Appalachian Trail and ending at the bottom of Hawk Mountain. I had the first 7 miles all to myself, and this time, it was only 7 miles.
I retraced my steps from the last debacle, and I’ll tell you, those woods are tricky…a cruel mistress if she catches you off guard. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell where I’d turned wrong. On the other hand, I’m pretty impressed with how far I made it total darkness.
A few soggy October weekends have left the trees naked and looking like so many veins and arteries against the hazy afternoon light.
I really liked the starburst pattern that’s been burrowed into this felled trunk. Though there are no real old growth trees in this part of the state, the forests are still dense and diversified.
The view from one of the lookouts on the… Lookout Trail! Just beyond the trees to the right is the boulder field encircled by the River of Rocks trail. While impressive up close, the trail around it is a bear to get through…bring your good ankles and knees. The view from here was much better, at least for today.
As far as raptor sightings, I nearly ran into a turkey vulture when it decided to swoop across the road only a yard or two from my car. Impressive, but goddamned terrifying.