Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day #175 Trail Dames and a Bee at Stone Mountain

Now that I have pictures to include, I can tell you about the hike I went on, around the base of Stone Mountain, with the Trail Dames.

I found out about Trail Dames last year, when Susan Larson, a columnist with the Gwinnett Daily Post, wrote about the founder of the group.

What can I say . . . it’s for women who—like yours truly—are out of shape. I went on one hike last fall and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. The trail was one fairly easy mile to a gorgeous waterfall, then about a quarter-mile straight up. Well, maybe not straight up, but I did have to crawl part of the way and clamber over fallen trees. Half the group had stayed behind to swim at the waterfall (brrr!) and the rest of us tackled the trek to the upper falls.

I slept very well that night.

Two days ago, at 8 a.m., I met up with the group again. Twenty-two people, most of them decked out in real hiking boots and toting real backpacks, some with hoses attached to inner water reservoirs so they could sip as they went along. Two dogs -- Molly, shown above, and Buster, who led the trek. Then there was Frannie. I wore a comfortable old pair of tennis, carried a walking stick with a carved turtle at the top (I’d bought it at Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center last year), and lugged along my granddaughter’s old book-bag from fourth grade. I figured if I got left behind, they could spot the bright turquoise bag strapped to my back. Here I am (in the green shirt) at the rear end as some of us posed on one of the bridges.

You see, I’d volunteered for the “sweep” position—bringing up the rear to be sure nobody got left behind. I was concerned, though, that I’d lag so far behind, they’d forget about me. Not to worry. There were a few others as slow as I, and we dawdled along quite happily, enjoying the imposing bulk of Stone Mountain (seen here behind a tracery of bare tree branches), the gorgeous azaleas, and a bunch of wildflowers.

Did I mention the trek was five and a half miles? That’s a long way, for somebody who hasn’t walked that far in, oh, about 40 years. Who am I kidding? I’ve never walked that far before. But, I did it, and saw some wonderful sights along the way, as you can see from all these pictures that Cheryl Bharath and Laura James took. I copied them (with permission) from the Trail Dames website. If you look at this picture very carefully, you can see a bee in there.

Check out the Trail Dames www.traildames.com and come join us on an upcoming hike. I survived this one. The next one will be a breeze.

BEEattitude for Day # 175:
       Blessed are those who prepare a lovely home for us, for we shall be content and make lots of honey.

One thing Fran is grateful for right now:
       Joan, who carried my pack for me the last quarter mile.    

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