Crowders Mountain, N.C. found four of us climbing up it's trail yesterday.
Passing fascinating rocks in size and sculpture,,,,we reached the top happy and hungry.
While we ate lunch Black Vultures and Hawks drifted above us. You can see for 20 miles and are 1,625 feet up. Two in our group were brave and climbed the 150 foot vertical cliffs with ropes on an earlier visit. They still felt the horror of the rappel down.
We looked out on a small nearby mountain called Booger Mountain and also Kings Pinnacle (1,705 ft. high).
We could see Charlotte, N.C. through the haze.
So, we met a member of our groups Challenge to climb down the rocks instead of hiking the trail. He grew up in these parts and climbed down many times with his brother. What a climb down. It was exhilirating to stand out on an outcropping and look out and down.
Finding hand and footholds was like a game. These rocks were car size,,,house size!
We found "Garrett" written on some rocks. Garrett took " The Shortcut Down!"
Red&Green leaved Galax wildflowers were here with the variegated leaved Wintergreen. The Rhododendrons were crowned with large flower buds. Mosses, Funguses and Lichens clung to the ground, rocks and trees. One tree stump we named "The Fungus Tower."
Crevices under rocks were like small Lost Worlds.
When we reached the Forest below we waded through loose leaves in deep drifts.
At last we met up with the trail and found an interesting number of trees that had been hit by lightening. Some were upright black cinders. One in the middle of the trail had a long lightening split down it's length ending in two large holes near the bottom where we could picture a fire ball blasting its way up the trail.
Passing "the almost "M" Tree" we volunteered our tallest hiker to reach high and complete the right leg of the "M" and took his picture. A Dogwood Tree has grown at odd angles creating an "almost M".
There were a large menagerie of dogs hiking the trail,,,two with the bluest eyes and one that looked rather like a dog wearing a Hyena costume. All were having the time of their lives.
So did we! It was a fun hike.