Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Rest of Yesterday's Story

Well, it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for the old human body.  We both seem to have recovered from yesterday’s abuse.

In retrospect, we enjoyed a great hike.  The first couple of miles was UP Lead Cove trail.  Although this is a horse trail which gets a fair amount of use, the trail bed was not beat up and was a very pleasant walk.  The first mile was along Sugar Cove Prong, with one easy crossing.  There is still plenty of water in this typical mountain stream.  Lining the trail were many of the spring wildflowers we have been seeing.  The trail gets its name from the very small amount of lead ore found here in days gone by.

Spring beauty

We pushed our way upwards and finally popped out on Bote Mountain Trail.  This trail is an old roadbed; it is actually the continuation of the old road we walked on Schoolhouse Gap trail--the road that went up to North Carolina.  That’s what we did yesterday.  We took a left on Bote Mountain Trail (after a short break) and headed UP and UP and UP.  Being an old road, the trail was very wide.  The last mile, however, was little more than a deep ditch through rhododendron.  The loose rock which covered the trail made this last mile very difficult.

The end of Bote Mountain Trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail on the TN/NC border.  This particular spot is just north of Spence Field, a popular place used by settlers to bring their cattle for grazing during summer months.  The area is still pretty open making it a great place for our lunch break.

The worst part about these long climbs is the going down afterward.  We ate our lunch, rested, and enjoyed the solitude of this spot before heading DOWN.  At least, the worst part was in the beginning--getting over that first steep mile of loose rock.  Once past that point, it was still steep but much easier on the feet and legs not to be twisting and rolling on the rocks.

A quick nap after lunch

Needless to say, we were exhausted by the time we got back to the truck.  This was the most difficult hike we’ve done since getting here.  However, we are both feeling pretty good today.  Recovery has been much quicker than our previous 9 miler.

Today has been devoted to chores.  First thing this morning (well, after coffee) was to take the Peanut for his annual shots.  This is always a difficult endeavor.  He never goes to the same vet twice--we’re never in the same city when it’s his time.  We struggle with who to call for an appointment.  Of course, Peanut turns into some kind of a monster cat when he gets in the examining room.  Today, we were very pleased with the vet and it was one of our better visits.  Plus, the bill was less than $100.  That may be a first.

I think that about covers anything of any importance for today.

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