Saturday, January 10, 2009
Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail
HIKE: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail (North & South), 01/10/2009, 09:44-12:27
DISTANCE: 3.9 miles
CONDITIONS: Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy; breezy; temps in upper 50's. Sprinkling rain near end of hike.
Quite a gray day, but a few rays of sunshine managed to breakthrough during the morning. Even though the clouds might be considered gloomy it was a most enjoyable and peaceful hike. Observed a wide assortment of wildlife today. It has become quite common for me to see whitetailed deer in this area and today was no exception, as I scared up a total of three does. The ubiquitous cardinal was counted as well as woodpeckers and other passarines. One special encounter was with a small black snake with a yellow neck-band (believe it was Diadophis punctatus, Ring-necked snake). It was a blessing to actually see him, he was so small and well camouflaged amidst the leaf litter. He was quite agreeable to having his photo taken! Sprinkling rain started about the last mile of the hike and forced me into my parka to keep from getting my camera and cell phone too wet.
Crestview Outdoor Ministry Expeditions and plans for 2009 were on my mind as well as several individuals. It seems like it always takes me at least a mile of hiking to leave behind distracting thoughts and to "get centered" -- i.e. quiet and listening for GOD's SPIRIT. I stopped just off the south loop amidst a boulder pile to read and meditate. Read from 1 Tim. 5.
I am also beginning to get in the "excited planning mode" about our Great West Expedition!