Lately I haven't had a lot of time to go hiking. I've been helping my son a lot, plus the responsibility of having to be around the homestead to care for my wife's elderly mother. In late March the pressure should slacken and I can go back to hiking and camping when I choose.
That said, I was able to get away for most of last weekend. One of those three days I spent hiking in Stone Mountain State Park. I like that park because it has a lot of exposed rock, decent forest cover, a number of impressive waterfalls, and an excellent network of hiking trails, a few of which I still haven't hiked.
So on Saturday I got a very early start and drove up. Another plus for me is that it's a genuinely mountainous area and only a little over an hour from the house. If traffic is light I can get there in under an hour.
I ended up getting there just a tad later than I like to, which meant that I missed seeing the roving deer out browsing for breakfast, and the wild turkey that seem to like to accompany them in the early light. But that was tempered by the fact that I got to hit the trails before all but a few of my fellow humans. I spent the main part of the day hiking a six-mile loop that took me from the parking area, over the summit of Stone Mountain, down the other side, along the base of the peak to the upper Stone Mountain Falls and then a return to the ridge line and back to Andy's car (which I borrowed because my truck uses a lot more gas than his Santa Fe).
Here, then, are some images and video of my main hike from last Saturday.
|On the summit. Said to be the most photographed tree in North Carolina.|
|The stairs alongside upper Stone Mountain Falls.|
|A rock climber on the face of Stone Mountain.|
|A stitched panorama of the face of Stone Mountain.|