Trails and pain

February 5, 2009

Arriving again at Shenandoah National Park last Sunday I found the South District closed and headed north, having made up my mind to hit Bearfence Mountain.

It had been a while since I visited the park on a nice weekend, and despite the cold temperatures, I still found a lot of parked cars at the trailhead. Traffic on the trail was minimal though and I had an enjoyable trip to my little peak atop the world.

On the backside of the circuit however, which overlaps with the Appalachian Trail, I had a minor problem when I hit some ice and then the rocky ground. After landing on my leg the wrong way thanks to a tricky rock, I checked to see if I’d broken anything. I hadn’t. Then I checked my camera and electronics for damage, and everything was still good to go.

Back at the car I whipped out the first aid kit and played doctor on my minor wounds before heading up to Limberlost again. Snow had dissolved away in most areas, leaving a nasty mud along a lot of the path. However, it still worked to my advantage by providing a good source of fresh tracks. After sorting out all the dogs that had been on the trail, I wasn’t able to find any bobcat tracks that day, but found a bit of squirrel tracks. Making my way down the path at a slow pace, I was able to listen to a variety of animals rustling through the area.

I made eye contact with a deer at close range and we both froze for a minute before carrying on in our own missions. At this point, I’ve photographed more deer than I can count, so unless something looks amazing I tend not to lift a camera for them anymore.

A short way down the trail I found a group of squirrels working away on the forest floor. The lighting was nice and soft so I made a few images and was satisfied with a few of them. I’ve tentatively placed one into the layout.

The trip out of the park was uneventful, but I’m hopeful that my next drive will be a bit more exciting.

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