We had planned to rise early Sunday morning and hike. However, we ignored the alarm. We still managed to get up fairly early, but missed the sunrise. We headed out to meet a lovely crisp Autumn day.
We followed Mill Creek up the mountain, and then took the Appalachian Trail for a while. We made our own trail along the creek bed, crossing over a few times, and trudging rugged terrain.
The waterfalls were gorgeous. I was taking so many photos of them, I finally had to restrain myself. There are several huge rock formations along the way. I love the beauty of unchartered territory. The falls widened and thinned in areas. A few times we ran into dry runs where the water went underground . The rock spring sits on a nice level base. There were two campers taking down their campsite when we reached that point.
I feel like I am on hallowed ground when I am in the wilderness, in the midst of a place of natural beauty that contains water, trees, and rocks. I am grounded to the earth yet probing to the heavens. I feel the connection in body and spirit. It’s difficult for me to explain the feeling of knowing that in some way I am a part of this vast space. I can’t even grasp the meaning, yet it really doesn’t matter because I know on some level it is meant to be.
This was the most awesomely gnarly tree ever! Of course, I do not even remember what kind it is, but at least I appreaciated the beauty of it having weathered through time.
This tree had an enormous knot in the middle of the trunk. It appears to maybe have become a home to some woodland creatures.
While it was a bit nippy, we heated up quickly. We were peeling off layers of clothing while watching the heat of our breath steaming in the cool air. As we hit the peak above the spring we came upon several apple orchards of days gone by. At times the air smelled fruity, pungent, and spicy all at once. We came upon goldens and reds side by side. Most of the apples were tiny, but a few trees had larger ones. Some of the trees were so overloaded the branches were pulling down or breaking off. We tasted one (not from this particular tree) which tasted a bit tart yet sweet like a winesap.
We went to the top of the mountains and made our way through the woods to the rocky edged cliffs so we could get some good shots of the mountains. It was breathtaking. Not as in my being out of breath, though I probably was, but as in being spectacularly stunning.
We decided to take the Appalachian Trail for a couple of miles to the base of Spy Rock. We didn’t do Spy Rock this trip, but continued down. We met a Boy Scout Troop and several hikers on our way down. We ended up doing a total of 4.6 miles. Dirt Man and I were in dispute over our actual mileage. He doesn’t really care how far we go. I like to track it and see how my body does in comparison with past hikes. At first he guessed five miles and then had the nerve to lower it to three. My body felt like it had done four or five, but of course, the terrain was much more rugged than we have been doing. Mill Creek was much harder than the Appalachian trail as it was uphill and uncut. We had turned the GPS on midway, so we went on Google Earth and tracked it. I am not including AT pictures as I might do another post on that one. It was difficult to choose which pictures to use in my post because I took over eighty-eight…and the scenery is amazing!