Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wade West

Yesterday we loaded up and headed to Wade Mountain in Huntsville, this time to the newly opened west side trails.  The first mile and change is paved and fairly flat, then the pavement ends and there's access to the west side of the mountain via a series of 2 loops and a connector trail.
Our GPS tracklog:

There is about a 600 foot elevation change over the course of the hike.

It started off a little boring, this time of year there's not much more than moss to divert your eye.  All grey and brown and rust everywhere, the only greens coming from the cedars scattered here and there and with the sky totally overcast, not even a cheery beam of light or patch of blue to cheer your walk.  I had settled into a major headache, which was made worse with every increase in elevation and heart rate.  I had decided to just walk for the exercise and get back home for an early bedtime.

Around mile 2, we passed through a patch of testicle berry bushes all in bloom.  The clean lemony smell was divine, we stayed a long while just smelling them.  By the time we were 3 miles in, we had hit the karst topography that I truly love.  Ben and Chan and I dropped back and sat around smelling pieces of cedar that had apparently blown down on the trail and someone had hacked it out of the way, leaving chunks of fragrant wood all around.  I tucked a piece behind my ear.

My Advil had kicked in and I was feeling fine, we trotted along, doing the full 6 miles in under 3 hours, averaging 2.6 MPH, which is good for the climbs the hike had.  We got back to the car and headed to the Asian Market where I loaded up on Thai bananas, chestnuts, yam noodles and rice.  I got a huge bag of eggplant, too.  Yummers.  We snagged a box of pandan flavored Swiss rolls.  The chocolate flavored ones had a picture of a chocolate bar on it.  These had a picture of grass.

Back home, after a stop at Taco Bell for some yummy yummy black bean burritos, I unloaded the cold food, hopped in the shower for a rinse and laid down for a few minutes on the heating pad, hoping to ward off stiffness this morning.  I woke up around 10, then at 1 I let Nia out to potty and crashed again, finally getting up for the day 12 hours later at 6:45.  Sad that a 6 mile hike wore me flat out, but it did.  That and the pollen and my headache-probably from the pollen.  I woke up yesterday feeling zapped, I did not want to hike, but knew I needed the exercise.  I am glad I did, even if it did catch up with me!

I hope some of the calories were squashed out of my protein bar.

This is an alligator.

The fields are full of henbit and dead nettle.

This was neat, I thought.  There are exposed roots in the bottom of the pool and the reflection of bare trees on the water, all patterned the same.  The cracks in the rocks add to the effect.  I desaturated the color to make it stand out more.

KARST.  I LOVE this kind of topography, it is my favorite.  Limestone and cedar.

Well, there they are.

We are parked at the very bottom of the power lines, off Pulaski.

That's the Toyota plant over yonder.

Ben jumped down the trail.  I tried, but my bladder was meant for sedentary life and I had to stop.  :(

Back on the paved part of the Greenway, it's long and...paved.  The first 1/4 mile by the parking lot was covered over, but we only passed one person on the wooded trails and two on the paved until that point.

Pandan tastes like...well, it's sweet, but maybe like pistachio? Or...clover?

Gleaning inspiration from Chachie Bell.

Sunset over the Tennessee River.

The sky on the drive home, with the fstop set 2 stops down.

The tree at the end of the road.

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.