Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hiking Cedar Island Nat. Wildlife Refuge

It was a road walk that didn't feel like one - six miles through an unspoiled sea of marsh grass on a sunny, breezy, cool day.  The photo above is a 180 degree panorama taken in the middle of this ocean - an amazing alignment between a perfectly straight, lonely streak of cirrus and the direction of the perfectly straight road.  Here's another view from fifty feet up atop the bridge over the straight that separates Cedar Island from the mainland.  Even from that height the grass seems to stretch on forever.

I did thirteen miles of Mountains-to-Sea Trail today, all on very quiet NC highway 12.  It's way out at the end of a lightly populated peninsula here, so traffic was very sparse.  Still, it would be nice if the Wildlife Refuge people built a boardwalk through their amazing grass ocean.

I have to point out how special this place is to be unspoiled.  Humans have come in and criss-crossed most wetlands like this with drainage ditches in hopes of making them more productive (for humans, not for wildlife).  Here in the refuge - (besides the ditch they made to elevate the highway) - I saw only one such 'abomination'.

Of course there were trees on either end of this six mile stretch of road: Here's the first 'island' on the south side of the 'ocean':

Today's hike took me from the Ferry Terminal where this welcome awaits the disembarking traveler ...

... to an interesting curved bridge over Salters Creek.

And though I certainly didn't need any cheering-up, this little roadside resident did bring a smile to my face.  There it was in the middle of a vast ocean of grass, making its little statement--"Welcome to Spring!"  Did somebody plant this?  Did the bulb fall off a truck?  Sometimes in this great big world the littlest things can make the biggest impact.


Here's the GPS track of today's walk.  Click the title for a slide show with more photos.

MST Day 10 - Cedar Island Nat. Wildlife Refuge at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in North Carolina

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