Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Anniversary Hike Up Carvins Cove Ridge

This is the top of the ridge looking down onto Carvins Cove, the city's water supply.
Lush ferns on the way up.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of me becoming bionic and to mark that milestone, I thought I'd hike up the back side of the Carvins Cove ridge from the Hollins trailhead of the Roanoke Valley Greenway. I tried this hike about eight months ago and couldn't complete it. The knee wasn't ready.

It was ready today and I found a different, far more satisfying, experience from the one in the late fall. This time I was alone, so I also got to enjoy the wondrous solitude.

Love this tree
This is not the prettiest hike in the region, nor is it the most challenging, but it has a reward when you get to the top of the mountain. The ridge looks down on Carvins Cove, just like the Appalachian Trail ridge does about half a mile east of this section of trail.

The trail actually goes over the ridge and back down to the cove itself (and you need a permit to walk that part). Mountain bikers seem to love that section of the cove trail.

In any case, what I found today was an overgrown first portion of the trail
that segued into a moist, mosquito-infested, dead-scrub-pine section, then out to an area cleared by the power company for its massive lines. Last was the best portion of the trail leading to the top and looking more like the mountain trails we're accustomed to, not unlike McAfee's Knob or Dragon's Tooth--without the climbs.

It's a nice hike and a pretty view. I even found what I think is my old friend Bill T's (won't ID him beyond that) house on the top of the ridge at the extension of a road that leads to the top. I'd recognize that damn old van of his anywhere. And no, I didn't knock on the door. People live in remote places like this for a reason.

This is the power company's favorite view of Tinker Mountain, as seen from the trail.
AT&T likes this view, too.
I liked the hike and think I lost about 10 pounds in water weight sweating in the 90-degree heat. I appreciate that part especially.

Let me note that all these pix were shot with a small point and shoot camera, so don't expect anything great. Just convenient.
Pampa on the trail.

This is my buddy Bill's hidden houses (left and right) on the top of the ridge.
There's a tiny kayak in the upper middle of this shot. Could be me on a given day.
Mountain bikers love this section of trail.
Your favorite editr rehydrates with Carvins Cove in the background.
Mushroom peeps through the moss.
I stopped and smelled the flowers on the way down the mountain.
Polkweed berries are pretty, but don't eat 'em.
This cheerful little guy spoke to me.
Some bugs fly away. Some stay and pose.
Another nice contrast of yuppie pink and green.
Tired? Rest.
Snowflakes in a skydiving cluster. Or something.
This is my Halloween tree. I'll be back.
Sometimes you just gotta have black and white. Like now.
Other times you can get weird, as with these black-eyed Susans.
Or you can throw in some FauxtoShop artsy-fartsy. Which I like.
And we can end with the dead-tree forest section. No special reason.

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