Sunday, November 19, 2006

Show me a trail and I want to walk it.

It's still autumn here, which is lovely because I've fallen in love with walking again. I just finished reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, in which he hikes a good portion of the Appalachian Trail, sort of on a whim.

I've hiked parts of the trail before, but I was quite young, and I don't really remember much about it. In fact, about the only things I do remember are being scared to death of bears, and falling down dangerously close to the edge of the trail as it wound up a mountain. I still have a scar on my knee from that fall.

I've batted around the idea of hiking more of the trail now that I'm older and enjoy those sorts of things. I don't imagine I could ever do all 2,200 miles of it--for now I've settled on hiking the entire Georgia portion, a distance of about 78 miles (plus the 8 mile approach trail from Amicalola Falls). I'll most likely have to do it in chunks, what with work and all.

In the meantime, all this reading about hiking has inspired me to get off my butt while the temperature is still in the 50s. Friday I walked around Murphy Candler Lake and marvelled at how much it's changed since the weather turned cold. Yesterday I walked around the Dunwoody Nature Center, which was very autumn-colored and enjoyable.

Today I headed up to Roswell to hike through Leita Thompson Memorial Park. I ended up doing the 2.25 mile trail twice, plus an extra .25 miles around the lake. My first time around was glorious, and as I reached about the 2 mile point, I took a little side trail up the crest of a hill and discovered three deer grazing happily.
They watched me warily for a long time, and I took a few pictures and some video, then scared them as I put my camera away. I didn't know before that deer made a weird grunting/whining noise to warn each other of danger, but I heard it clearly just the instant before they all bolted out of sight.

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