I have completed the Falls Lake Trail since I last wrote, treading trail blanketed in soft pine needles, crossing brand-new sturdy bridges erected by hard-working trail crews, and doubling back on the regular when I go breezing by a botanical beauty.
|Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) - by far one of my most treasured plants. The leaves can be added to salads for an extra zing, the flowers and leaves make a tea helpful in dilating the peripheral blood vessels or in other words, bringing heat to cold fingers and toes. One can also make an infused oil using olive oil and above ground plant parts, applying to sore muscles to relieve inflammation and pain. Or most easily, make a spit-and-chew poultice using the leaves and apply to a bleeding cut to prevent infection and reduce blood loss. Read more about my experience on the first hike with this herb at my post: http://thebotanicalhiker.blogspot.com/2011/06/hikers-wound-wort.html or read more about it in A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains to Sea Trail|
|The incredible bridge built over Falls Lake, crossing the bridge you cannot help but feel like you are simply walking atop the water.|
|Exectuive Director of the FMST Kate Dixon, myself, and Robin (she was the host who put out the clever sign not to eat the flowers), drawing the winning raffle tickets! And I must mention...notice that book in Robin's hand?|
In the evening, I celebrated by exploring downtown Durham. What a vibrant city! I found my way to a "Best of Downtown Durham" event in the city's central park, listening to a live band, called the Cottonmouth something or others (sorry that's the best I can do) and enjoying a delicious wrap from a local food truck called Vegan Flava. I have no idea what I ate, I believe it was a walnut puree expertly seasoned with yumminess, but what it was it was good! When the show ended at 9:30, I made my way over to James Joyce Irish Pub and enjoyed this incredible microbrew as well as a basket of cheesefries. Hey, a hiker needs her grease.
|The Big Black Bear Stout made by Republic from California - the only black bear I'd want to get this close to on the trail.|
While in Durham I had the pleasure of finally meeting the incredible JoEllen. JoEllen is the Outreach Coordinator for the FMST and the woman that helped me find my way out of Holly Shelter Gamelands. JoEllen took me in for the night, transported me to and from my events and provided me with a lovely banner for my book signings. She has been invaluable to the success of this hike, helping me to coordinate my hiking with my book events, and rides to and from the trail. Plus we simply had a lot of fun! Thank you, JoEllen! The second night I stayed in town, I stayed in the Historic Tobacco District, renting a room from a young couple. The apartment was hip and chic and provided a perfect home-base from which to operate while in the city. Durham, you were not easy to walk away from!
|An abandoned overgrown railroad bed that the Falls Lake Trail passed over.|
|I wonder where this gate once led...|
Tonight I will be at Great Outdoor Provisions Company here in Chapel Hill at 7pm as well as out Weaver Street Market in Hillsboro tomorrow night at 5pm...I'm looking forward to seeing y'all there!
|The Internationalist Bookstore and Community Center - a source for activist books, pamphlets, and rare reads!|