|View from atop Balanced Rock in Hanging Rock State Park|
Two days ago, I was returned to Pilot Mountain State Park after my lil retreat into the mountains surrounding Asheville. I got a sneak peak...and it was heart wrenchingly beautiful. The time with friends was incredibly uplifting and the wedding was a true hiker friendly wedding with camping, hiking, guests taking outdoor showers and changing in their tents and lots of delicious food. Oh and dancing, lots of dancing...I don't know if that would qualify as generally hiker friendly as my body took a lil while to warm up, but when it did this hiker shook her booty happily. Each night the fireflies winked like a show of Christmas lights up in the treetops. Breath-taking.
|Jodi and Noah with Jodi's father officiating. As if this scene weren't lovely enough, they stood beneath an arching canopy of bamboo.|
But what really made Elkin memorable were the people and the shining enthusiasm these folks have for their portion of the trail. I had the largest attendance I've had yet here at the local library...and mind you this book talk was set up one day in advance! Not only was the library welcoming, but the local bookstore, Diana's Books, and the Soda Shop where I had lunch. Following the book talk, I was whisked out to the 1 1/2 miles of trail that has already been completed through Elkin. Right now the designated trail passes through town via Main Street and then carries me out on Rt. 21, where I pick up various country roads that will lead me to Stone Mountain. However, when this trail is complete, the hiker will be able to reach Stone Mountain 22 miles away without ever leaving the woods, the creeks crossed by sturdy bridges. Of course, we conducted an impromptu plant walk while here as well. Thank you Pamela and Donnie! I even had the opportunity to bang the gong that has been placed one mile in on trail!
|Bangin' the gong - the sound of which reverberates throughout the surrounding woods - along the soon to be MST in Elkin!|
|Martha and Zoot|