Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sat Sun Mon Memorial Day May 26,27,28, 2012


MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

A REVERENT THANKS TO ALL WHO SACRIFICED

FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE





WHAT DO THE BLAZE NUMBERS MEAN?

The numbers are there to help the park know how to quickly find you, the number and skills needed of incident response team members, as well as what types of equipment will be needed in the event a hiker has an injury.   If you need to report a hiker who needs help it is very helpful if you are prepared to let the park know the nearest R (for Ridge Trail) or S (for Saddle Trail) number and how far above or below the hiker is from the marker.  The are not even close to being evenly distributed.    On open trails they can be thousands of feet apart and then their are places in  the rock scramble where they can be only 100 to 200 feet apart.   


After all our rain the plants were looking really healthy.

The Mountain Laurel blossoms were still very pretty but you could start to see signs that it will soon be gone for 2012.


WE ARE DOING BAD WITH TRASH FOLKS

I am not sure why but the cold weather hikers are much better about both not trashing the mountain up and also about picking up and taking out trash that is not theirs.

Once the warm weather arrives things seem to go from almost pristine to sometimes looking like a garbage dump in places!    By the way folks just because you throw something off a high cliff it does not mean it will not be seen.   Climbers and other backcountry visitors will see your trash sooner or later.  If you pack it in pack it out.   If you have some room and feel like a good samaritan take some trash out that is not yours.   Be polite and respectful but spread the word.

LEAVE NO TRACE! 

Of late I have had numerous hikers complain to me that the mountain is becoming disgusting to hike becasue of all the trash along the trail.  Folks nobody likes to see your old Orange peels, toilet paper, water bottles, egg shells, nut shells, power bar wrappers or anything else.   Whether you are a new hiker or old experienced pro please make sure you learn appropriate outdoor ethics and practice them.

Leave No Trace Link:  http://lnt.org/

Looking back on the First False Summit from near the cave.



A large Mt Laurel in bloom on the summit.



SUNSET


Another great sunset from the summit.   Make sure you have a good headlamp and a backup headlamp if you are going to hiking in the dark.

video






VENEMOUS COPPERHEADS AND RATTLESHAKES

ENJOY THEIR NATURAL WONDER BUT BE CAREFULL!

I almost never see Copperheads during the day but I see them on or next to the trail a lot during the night.   They are nothing to worry about as long as you do not step on or near them.  Please make sure you have a good light and that you never place your hands or feet near or under anything that you have not visually checked to make sure there is not a venomous snake that might fear bite.

On my walk out in the dark I saw two Copperheads of almost exactly equal size just 200 feet apart on the road to the parking lot.   The first one scurried off into the grass before I could get my camera out but I did get these two shots of the second one.    If you keep your distance they are a wonderful part of nature to be lucky enough to come across.    Please do not disturb or hurt them.    They keep the rodent population down which in turn helps keeps the infectious tick population down.

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