Friday, May 11, 2012

View from Wind Rock, and Beautiful Mountain Laurels

This morning, we needed water, and it would be at least 5 miles before we hit the first possible water source.  Luckily, it was mostly downhill, and we made really good time before reaching the prettiest, crystal clear stream.  We got water, and were crossing a little rock-hop type crossing, when Keith discovered a huge crawfish.  I was surprised to see it in such icy cold water.  I always pictured crawfish living in warmer water.  It was a really large one! 
As we hiked, we also came across a few dayhikers.  They always seem to manage to figure out that we are thru-hiking to Maine, and usually have a few questions for us.  I don't know if they can tell by the way we look, or the way we smell.  I would prefer it's by the way our packs are packed.  Anyway, dayhikers are always a welcome sight, because not only do they smell really good, but they are usually a indicator of really good weather for the next several days.  Yay!
We were approaching a well known hostel on the trail, called the Captain's, and had heard there was a zip line that you use to cross the creek, and you could camp on the Captain's lawn.  When we reached that area, we saw the Captain's house, which backed up to the pretty creek, named Stony Creek.  He was out cutting his grass on his riding lawnmower.  We looked up some info on the hostel, and after discovering he did not offer any sort of hot food, decided we didn't really want to cross the creek for a cold drink, and headed on down the trail.
Soon we came upon one of the nicest (and newer) bridges that crossed Stony Creek, and decided that was the perfect place for our lunch break.  The sun was out, it was about 70 degrees, and there was a great breeze.  We all laid across the path leading to the bridge with our boots off.  It was pretty perfect.  There was a road close by, and even though we wished for trail magic with every passing car (I know, pathetic), it never materialized that day.  Soon, Alpo and Roadside hiked over the bridge, and Alpo told us he had ridden the zip line across the creek to Captain's, but his fridge was empty, because the previous night he had had about 20 hikers camp on his lawn.  We were so glad we had bypassed the Captain's.
After lunch, we climbed up a mountain for several miles before finally hitting the ridge and getting a really nice view from the top at a place called Wind Rock.  Along the trail this day, we noticed, for the first time, that all of the Mountain Laurel had finally come into full bloom.  Not only were there white blooms, but really beautiful pink ones as well, and they were gorgeous in the forest. 
After following the ridge most of the afternoon, the trail descended once again, and we ended up camping at one of the prettiest campsites we had ever had - along John's Creek.  When we first hiked into camp, there was a deer there, who bolted.  Swamprat made the strangest noise ever, and it stopped in its tracks, and didn't move again for about five minutes.  He kept making this noise, which he said was the sound of a doe bleating.  He said it was a trick they use when they bowhunt.  Keith and I, not being hunters, were pretty impressed by this, and I saw it as a way to get the deer to pose for pictures.  Unfortunately, just as I crept up to take a picture, it ran away.  I will be practicing this noise from now on, and try it again in the future.  Pretty cool!
(We camped at mile 662.7, next to John's Creek, and footbridge).

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