Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sawnee Mountain

For our walk today, Kathryn wanted to tackle Sawnee Mountain again. It's been years since she's been there and a while for me too. So long, in fact, that the interpretive center had just been built when I was there the last time and wasn't even open but today we parked there and even walked through to get to the trail.

 Sawnee Mountain Interpretive Center Building

Inside, there was an amazing set of photos of the piedmont to the north from the top of the mountain. The first was from 1927 and the second from the past year or so. The photo mentioned something like "this is what it looked like before all the development" but what struck me was how completely cleared of trees it was back then. It was just tilled fields as far as the eye could see with only tiny little rows of trees between them. Yeah, there are neighborhoods there now but there are also large tracts of woods. I wonder which is better for the land.

We climbed up to the Indian Seats. It's really steep and Kathryn was feeling the burn.

It looked different up top than I remembered. There were scrubby little pines growing all over and big areas were cordoned off with orange fencing and somebody had cleared the ground of debris inside the fence. I'm guessing the idea is to get more of those little pines to grow between the official trails. The soil up there is really thin and it barely covers decomposed granite. Barely any traffic wears away the soil and the crumbly granite is like walking on marbles. I'd noticed in the past that people kind of walked all over the place and the clearing was growing and growing. I guess they've been managing that though. There are distinct little trails now and dense clumps of pine everywhere else.

We sat in the Indian Seats and looked out over "The Whole World"...

 The Whole World

...while The Whole World looked back at us too.

 Me and Kathryn

When Kathryn's calves recovered we hiked back down. I always contend that a down hike walk down is just as bad, but Kathryn had an easier time coming down because it required less cardio. I forget about the cardio aspect sometimes.

It was cool to get back up on Sawnee Mountain. It's the first real outdoor place I ever took the kids and we got so burnt out on it, but it's all new again. I'll have to go back with them sometime soon too.

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