Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Foot notes from a Blue Ridge hike

Odds and ends today - just a few miscellaneous notes from today's 11 2/3 mile hike:  Above is an addition to yesterday's flower-themed post - a flower I searched for and did not find yesterday but captured a good example today - Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

Next - a 'Selfie' modeling "Hat number Eleven" in my 'hat of the day' series.  This is the hat I bought at the AT Conservancy in Harper's Ferry when I officially stopped by (on foot) during my double thru-hike in late October 2012.  The total official trail distance hiked during that ten month double thru-hike was 4368.4 miles - the shirt is one I prepared for the family celebration on the day I completed the hike (Nov. 3rd).  Okay, now you know why they say nobody over 30 should do 'Selfies' :-)

Three notes from the natural world:  First, an Eastern Ribbon Snake struggling across the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Second, a carpet of Japanese Stiltgrass overgrowing this little-used section of the MST.  Japanese Stiltgrass is a major invasive - accidentally introduced in Tennessee as packing material a century ago, it is now the predominant ground cover in shady woods environments all up and down the eastern US.

And finally here's a shot of a humble shrub that is one of my personal favorites.  Found in moist and riparian settings, this is Spice Bush - an honest-to-goodness native that I use as a little 'pick-me-up.'  When crushed the leaves give off a spicy stimulative fragrance (thus its common name).  Crush as you hold the leaves close to your nose and inhale deeply.  For a second or two the aromatic fragrance will refresh.  It doesn't last long, and I doubt if it has any real stimulant properties, but for me it never fails to re-invigorate my body, mind and heart.


Below is a map of the route I hike today:

MST Day 66 - Northwest Trading Post at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in North Carolina

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