Keep Tryst Road

September 27, 2006 § Leave a comment

That really has nothing to do with this story, except that it’s my new favorite road name & happens to be near part of the Appalachian Trail.

Midway through our visit we decided to go for a hike on the Appalachian Trail. I was warned that it would be rocky & probably about eight miles. My lurve’s mother was concerned that we didn’t have hiking boots with us, but after spending my childhood traipsing around creeks & rivers and climbing trees in much less worth footwear than my trail runners I’m unconcerned. Besides, she worries about a lot of stuff, so that’s normal. Even my man’s warning that he’s concerned about my still-weak ankle fails to set off any bells. I may be drought & famine resistant, but I guess that doesn’t do me any good if I’m not going to listen to good suggestions…

Anyway, apparently East Coast “rocky” is a West Coast riverbed, and the trail was closer to twelve miles than eight. We made it about eleven before my ankle cried uncle and we called for backup. The hike itself was gorgeous; since we went on a Tuesday afternoon we only passed a handful of people, all of them calm & happy to be out and about on a school day. And really, except for the miles & miles of picking my way over a rock bed with an ankle that wasn’t quite up to that challenge, I had a great time. The bears that were rumored to hang out on that trail didn’t show up (I’d considered bringing a jar of peanut butter but thought better of it — as it turned out there was no way I’d have been able to gimp my way out of that one), but we did see a deer, some really cool orange shelf fungi and this little lady:

No, we didn’t squish her. She’s an Eastern Hoggie & as part of their defensive mechanism they do fake death throes & play dead by flipping onto their backs with their mouths wide open & tongues out. If you flip them over or touch them they flip back over & open their mouths wider, which is pretty funny — apparently in the wild dead means on your back, mouth open, tongue out, but it doesn’t mean totally still. She wandered out onto the trail right in front of me, after the boy had cleared that part of the trail. He had never seen a baby in all his years over there, even though they’re pretty common and everyone he knew had seen them, but he had not; of all the snakes we could have run into out there, this was the best, and she lived up to all his expectations.

This one almost beats out the time that an endangered Alameda Whipsnake dropped out of a bush & onto my shoe to eat his lunch while my little herper was out looking for one of them. Apparently I’m a snake magnet.

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