I hit the trails again, this time back to McKinney Roughs which has more shade trees than most of the Parks that I go to. With the temperature forecast to go as high as 95 degrees, any shade was going to be more than helpful.
I arrived at the park at the Hwy 71 Trailhead around noontime, a little later than I had planned and was not a bit surprised to find that I was the only car in the parking area. If there were any others, they had already come and gone. Smart people get up early to beat the heat. I need to try that sometime…
My original plan was to hike Pine Ridge going down the steps and then back up out of the valley to Bobcat Ridge and completing the loop back onto Pine Ridge. However, as I was going through my usual preparations, I noticed that I had not picked up my water bottle after filling it and had left it on my kitchen table. It sure as hell wasn’t going to do me any good sitting there. I thought about it a bit and even I am not stupid enough to go out hiking without water so I changed my plans and headed along Whitetail towards the main offices. I knew that there was an outside drinking fountain on one of the dorms and I figured I would fill up there and then continue on with my original hiking plans. I had a spare bottle in the car, albeit very empty. Whitetail is almost a mile long and so after filling my bottle, I decided that I was not going to hike the complete loop but to walk back along Pine Ridge all the way to where the steps come up out of the valley, backtrack a little and then hit the parking lot. I took my time but even so, the sun was very warm. The trail was under shade a great deal of the way with the Loblolly Pine trees and Live Oaks casting a lot of shadow. I always like walking under the pine trees as the pine needles always smell so nice. Some of these trees are very beautiful.
The zip line project seems to be moving along and it looks like there may be as many as three different runs in different directions. I took one picture of the tower closest to the parking area. and another much further down in the valley.
At one point along the trail, I came across a tree that had fallen a long while ago and that had completely disintegrated and a little further along a piece of wood that had petrified. I wonder why one rotted and the other petrified?
The trails are in really good shape and except where I followed one of the tracks made by the zip line contractors heavy equipment, the grass is short. I have been experimenting with making panorama scenes from 2,3 and even 4 pictures stitched together. The software in Lightroom works very well and the top 2 pictures and the one below are good examples. These are without the aid of a tripod.
The group below is of the fine trails at McKinney Roughs.
I read somewhere that the color green has a very soothing affect especially when it is linked with the great outdoors. This for me is very true as I am never happier than when I am outdoors and walking the trails. I passed one bush of American Beauty Berry that is just getting ready to flower and it was the only flowers along the entire walk.
As with all of these groups of pictures, if you click on any one of them, they will enlarge. You can then use the side arrows to move along. Use the “Escape” key to get back to normal.