Saturday, January 8, 2011

SAVED THE DAY WITH A HIKE


 click photos to enlarge
 
I returned from the foiled canoe ride and decided to make the best use of the day that I could.  A hike was called for.  The next best thing to being on the water is being in the forest.  We, Douglas, Shade and Happy, would go to the Tellico Hiking trail at Glenco.  That trail is known as the Glenco trail at times.  I was in the mood to cover some ground.  I felt great;  not good but, great!  We had the entire trail on the West side of the cove to ourselves.  There was a hunter across the cove traveling down the trail with a Springer Spaniel running about 150 yards ahead of him.  The dog had a cow bell on it's neck.  It sounded like a cow bell anyway.  The man was practically running to keep pace with the dog.  I couldn't figure out what that was all about.  Dog with a cow bell followed by hunter with rifle, running equals big dummy I'd say.  Oh well!
 It is blustery cold out here.  The wind is attempting to cut through my clothes.  I have cross country ski pants on and a really good parka.  I am guessing I will start to perspire when I quicken the pace on the trail.  That's not a good thing but, I am familiar with this trail and have an idea how long it will take to get back to the truck.  No danger of hypothermia exists.   This is just one of those days that I feel like walking fast.
There is not a lot of snow down here by Tellico Lake but the wind is pretty fierce.  I pull my knit hat over my ears and am off.  We crossed over the little wooden bridge that offers the long trail to the left or the short trail to the right.  We selected the long trail.
The dogs can't figure me out today.  Normally I'm the one who loiters along and they are always out front wondering where I am.  They detour to the edge of the lake for a drink and I'm down the trail far ahead when they return.  I can see their confusion about the urgency of my stride.
I haven't taken this section of trail in a year and it's offering new views.  Sometimes a trail becomes stale to me if I'm on it continually.  I like change.  Oh no;  I just thought of Obama.   I gotta pick up the pace.
There are sections of this trail that gently climb out of the woods to clear fields and other sections that lead into darker corridors that wind between pine and hardwoods.  There is diversity here.  I like it.
My fingers get cold very fast when I remove my glove to take a picture.  The temperature is about 30 degrees but the wind is driving that cold hard and fast.  My thoughts return to Abrams creek and I can see myself floundering in the icy waters trying to make it to shore;  the canoe drifting away.  Oh man!  Negative thoughts!  Gotta think positive stuff here.  How bout two twenty year old Polynesian girls with long, straight black hair paddling my canoe, me in the center seat,  into a moon lit bay in Polynesia?   Sure beats thoughts of sinking to the bottom of Abrams Creek frozen to death.  Sure is cold out here.  

We are really making good time.  The only stopping we are doing is when I get the urge to take a picture.  I'm very familiar with the terrain here and am not interested in loitering around today.  It's just too cold.  Actually, we have just about completed this two mile loop back to the truck.

I really prefer the sections of trail that cut through the forests.  I like the dark places.  This trail is used by a lot of folks during the Summer months and does not offer the quality wildlife discoveries I prefer.  There are wild turkeys, deer and quail back here but, there isn't much chance of running up on a bear or a cougar around here.  There are too many people.
Above:  No matter how fast I move;  he's always there in front of me waiting rather impatiently.  I love him.  If it weren't for him I probably would never have embraced this outdoor adventure syndrome like I have.
One more bend in the trail and we'll cross the last wooden bridge to the truck.  It's been a great little hike.  I've proven to myself that I'm still in shape and ready for the rigors of Summer adventures.
A short clip of the dogs displaying their hunting prowess follows.  Yep;  they're great hunters!