Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sipsey Wilderness Big Tree Hike

Hike: Sipsey Wilderness - Big Tree, Sat. 03/06/2010, 09:00-15:30
Distance: 11.0 miles  Rating: 5+/5  Difficulty: Strenuous
Conditions: Perfect!  Bright blue sky.  Calm.  Mid 40's to near 60 degrees.  All trails mostly dry.  Some blow downs on Trail #224 to crawl under or step over.  Several other hikers (and two hunters) on the trail but not crowded. 
Sipsey Wilderness Hike to the Big Tree.  Hiked with Diane, Robert, and Glenn.  Hiked Trails #224 & #204 from the Borden Creek Trailhead to the Big Tree.  A long hike for Glenn, Diane, and Robert since they're not used to this distance (it was a full day hike), but the views at the Borden Creek Trailhead and at the Big Tree were worth it!  Though I knew there was a waterfall near the Big Tree I was not prepared for the sweeping beauty and grandeur of the gorge that holds the Big Tree.  A waterfall leaps off the rim of the gorge and plunges 180' down to the rock and boulders of the canyon floor.  All around yellow poplars and other hardwoods stand silent guard over this pristine wilderness.  Nearby a smaller waterfall makes a similar plunge to the rock fall.  One must negotiate large boulders to scramble from the Big Tree to the waterfall.  A large amount of scree covers the slope behind the water fall but the huge overhanging rock formation beckons you to scamper up behind the fall to look out through the water.  Skeletons of icicles still littered the base of the waterfall.  LORD GOD, YOU astounded me once again with the magnificence of YOUR creation and YOUR display of YOUR love.  We were treated to a symphony of sound and sight at the very start of the hike at Borden Creek Trailhead.  Borden Creek tumbles and splashes its way under an old road bridge at the trailhead as it winds towards the Sispsey River.  The banks of the creek along this area are almost as white as the Gulf coast beaches.  This is was a full day in the widest extent of that word. 

This was a fantastic, full-day hike but it was much more than just a hike.  It was a pure joy to be able to share this experience with Diane, Robert, and Glenn.  (I hope they're not too sore tomorrow after this length of a day-hike!)  This area is spectacular and worthy of additional visits.  I understand why so many people talk about the Sipsey on the AlaTrails Forum now.  A three hour drive from Prattville is a long time, but it's not a bad drive and what awaits in the Sipsey Wilderness is certainly worth it.

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