Monday, March 12, 2012

Gettin' up

Bluff Mountain, that is.

The climb up Bluff Mountain from Garenflo Gap is the kind of climb I like: no ‘dicking around’. It gets to the business of “up” and just keeps going for more than three miles – 2000 feet of elevation change at near-constant rate. I like it because you can really get into a rhythm. And on a cold windy day such as today was, when ups-and-downs require constant fiddling with clothing in order to regulate body temperature, you can ‘set it and forget it’, when it applies to your ‘thermostat’ on a steady climb.

There wasn’t much spectacular or iconic about today’s (Sunday 4 March) section of trail. The trail guide says there are no views from Bluff Mountain, but there is a minor one, shown here, from a rock outcrop just north of the summit. But it was snowing as I passed, so the full majesty of whatever is out there was shrouded by the snow-made mist.

And so, getting’ up some inspiration required turning to closer subjects. The trace of snow added some highlights to this tiered moss garden on a growth of burl right beside the trail. Moss was also clinging to the grooves of this maintainers art in a step-over log.

The section of trail from Garenflow Gap to Deer Park Shelter had only minor climbs and many sections of nearly level trail – very pretty but not terribly photogenic. The frequent winter views of Bluff Mountain, such as the one shown at the top of this post, were the highlights. As for close-up subjects, this little reminder of spring was the best I can come up with.

Getting’ up the courage to show its sunny face on this snowy day in the biting wind must have been tough. But it’s a reminder. The snow may not be over (accumulation is forecast for tonight), but its days are numbered. I saw robins yesterday in Hot Springs. The red maple flowers are already dropping off the trees. The signs of spring are mounting daily. Snow – your days are numbered!


Here's the map with my route shown. The big long 'spike' is a GPS glitch, not real. Sorry, but I don't have enough tech savvy to know how to edit this away. There's a link below that leads you to the EveryTrail page for today's hike, which includes many more photos.

AT Day 58 - Bluff Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in North Carolina

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