Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Begins

March 12 & 13, 2011
Old Rag Saturday
Wilderness First Aid Sunday

Saturday was a wonderful hiking day.    Warm air, bright blue skies and all of the streams were bubbling and cascading down the mountain.     The Hughes was a river not a stream.  Every culvert had running water.  Washes that are dry most the year had babbling brooks flowing in them.  

Old Rag International Parking had less than ten available parking spaces.    The neighbors did not need to open up the satellite parking lot (their pasture) but keep in mind that if they do it is a $10 charge in addition to the SNP entrance fee (The SNP parking lot is free.).    Since it is within walking distance there is no shuttle service.  ;-)

There was a little bit of ice still on the Ridge Trail.     For me it was a pleasant surprise and reminder of our past winter to come across a small patch of ice in the middle of the rock scramble.   You could easily find a path around it or pick your way up through it.   There were more than just a couple of rock climbers to be seen hiking out late in the day with their ropes, boots, helmets, taped hands and other specialized gear hanging on their packs

On a one to ten rating system this Old Rag sunset was a five at best but that said it was still wonderful to watch.
On the way out I saw the green emerald eye glow from hundreds of spiders peaking out from the leaf liter for the first time this year.    A sure sign of Spring and one of those little special treats of hiking in the dark with the aid of a bright headlamp.   While it was not on the mountain I heard my first Spring peepers   while driving through the Piedmont on my way back home.

On Sunday I volunteered to help Emergency Response Training, LLC with a Wilderness First Aid class.  

I played one of two victims in a scenario for a class of scouts and scout parents preparing for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch this summer.



They had not arrived as of this weekend but it is only a matter of time so it would be a good idea to remember to bring your bug repellant.

Check this Blog's label list to bring up more information about ticks.   As carriers of Lymes, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other diseases some consider these critters the most dangerous thing you will encounter in the park.    Permethrin for your clothing, bug repellant for your skin and tick checks when you get home are all very important disease prevention measures.

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