Tuesday, November 08, 2011

the trail less taken . . .

This last weekend was quiet up at the camp. We didn't have any picnickers or campers which was a shame, because the weather would have been just glorious for such activities. Todd was on shift Saturday, so it was a very quiet day for me -- especially since Joc was having a lovely, quiet weekend on the lake with her hubby and in-laws. I didn't mind ... I enjoy my peaceful quiet days every once in a while! But I also didn't get out into my beautiful surroundings. I'm not confident in going down the front steps (or really, coming back up) by myself on crutches. If something were to happen ... well, I don't do it, so I'm not going to think about it!

Sunday, though, after church, Todd and I loaded up in Easy and headed out for a perimeter check of the camp. Our first trek was down to the lower meadow and into the Hidden Path trail. Todd had a purpose . . .

Yeah, I wouldn't have understood what he was doing either, if he hadn't told me. He'd bought a buck rock, and wanted to plant it in a path where he was pretty sure he knew deer were crossing.

[Added Note: A buck rock is the same thing as a mineral rock. It's similar to a salt block only it's made of salt *and* other minerals/nutrients that deer need, and it's shaped like a big ol' rock. The deer up here much appreciate finding these!]

How'd he know? Ah ... the mighty game camera, strapped to the tree. We have them all over the place through the camp. He checks them regularly and even moves them around. It's been an interesting (informal) study!

We'll give this buck rock (↑ directly above) a couple of weeks to a month and then check and see if the camera has captured anything worthy of reporting!

From there, we headed down to Serenity Pond. Todd had purchased some floating fish food and wanted to throw it off the dock for the little fishies!

It was a *gorgeous* day, and the sun was absolutely brilliant!! There was a bit of a breeze, too. If you look a the surface of the pond above, you can see how ripply the water is as the wind swept down from the hill, over the surface. Again, gorgeous!

I loved this shot -- the sun was so bright, it nearly completely washed out the color from the trees on the hillside.

But look how green the reflection is in the pond! Those were mostly evergreens and firs on the hillside and they did look so green and beautiful -- but you can only tell if you look at their reflection!

From the pond we came down the High Ridge Trail and up the back side of the drive. As you come around the (very steep) curve to the pavilion, there is a limb that hangs over the road.

It's a little hard to see in this picture, but this one will give you perspective for the next one. The limb is about 20' long and has been hanging there like that since before we moved out here in November, 2009.

Todd told me that the Disaster Relief teams that comes out here and trains (and helped us clear trees after the tornadoes in the spring), called that branch a 'widow maker'. Because you never know when it's going to go or who it's going to catch when it does.

It's a big ol' branch. I can't believe all the wind and storms and tornadoes we had out here in the spring -- and all the trees we lost -- and this branch maintained it's hanging position. Crazy! I watch it every time we drive under it. LOL!

Speaking of downed trees and tornadoes, the trail that took the biggest hit was the north end of the High Ridge Trail. We could travel that trail from the road to the pond, but much past that, and it was impassable. We had a group come out to the camp in early October -- Challengers from Whitesburg Baptist -- and they were able to do what even the guys from the Disaster Relief Team wouldn't touch. They cleared the entire trail, with the exception of one uprooted tree. We blogged about their visit over on the Camp MACOBA blog HERE. These young men did a phenomenal job, and had a good time doing it, too!

So Todd and I started from the camp ground end of the High Ridge Trail and followed it to the last block. Ummm, yep, the trail is definitely blocked! So we turned around and I snapped a quick shot so you could understand all the work that had to be done to get us as far as we got!

It was a twisted, tangled mass of huge trees all over the hillside and the path there. These trees didn't come down in the big tornado storm of April 27th, but actually came down a month later, when a freak storm hit us in the middle of the night. I'm fairly certain an F0 or F1 came right over our heads and continued East. This trees down on the trail are due east from the RV. It was crazy!

Of course, this trail has the most extreme ups and downs of any of the trails. And my day wouldn't be complete if I went touring around the camp on Easy, and Easy didn't have some problems. Which of course, he did. At the bottom of the hill on the High Ridge Trail -- we still had a ways to go, too! We let him sit for a minute and then he chugged along like a champ. Whew! That would not have been pretty!

From there we stayed on level land and headed up to the upper meadow. The farmer who owns the adjoining land had his cows up in pasture.

This lovely bovine was quite interested in me. I do love cows. I don't know why.

This bunch of shrub berries caught me by surprise! I'd never seen them before, and there were a lot of them!

I don't imagine they'll last long -- the birds will be enjoying them, no doubt!

And then we headed back . . . home sweet home!

I felt welcomed and happy to be back, for sure. Time for a hot chocolate!

Yesterday was a working day ... lots of administrative stuff. Today my Joc will be here. Yay!! So I'm off to be in it!!


11 left a comment . . .:

Nancy said...

what's a buck rock?

We have a "widow maker" on the other side of the pond... Son-in-law will come next spring and cut it down if it lasts the winter...

Barbara F. said...

Hi Denise, I enjoyed "riding around" with you and Todd this morning! I did not know what a "buck rock" was but think it hides a camera?? The photos are beautiful but please stay away from that hanging limb!! Can it be cut down? xo,

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lovely trip and view - thank you for sharing. We have hangers from our 1985 tornado - just too much tangle to get to them safely. And I know what a buck rock is!

big B said...

Lovely pictures!

Mary said...

I'd not ever heard of a Buck rock. Very pretty camp pictures. Thanks for sharing. Have fun with Joc.

Winona said...

I love all the camp pictures you shared with us. I am sure you see some interesting sights with the game cameras. I hope your foot is healing quickly. Have a good one.

Lee Young said...

Thank you for a wonderful trip to the outdoors :) it was beautiful. In my childhood on the ranch we'd put out salt/mineral blocks for the cattle (I'm sure the deer used them too) but I'd never heard the reference 'buck rock', so I learned something new today. I remember I use to break off small pieces and lick on them myself - must've been something in them I needed too, no doubt as our childhood nutrition was poor and I was often anemic.

Sarah said...

I love touring camp with you, Todd and Easy :)

Jean said...

what a beautiful place! You are so blessed to be amidst so much beauty!

Connie said...

I loved seeing all the beautiful pictures of the camp! There are such neat names for the different places and I hope your husband gets some great photos of the deer!

Love Bears All Things said...

I see the first person to comment asked what a buck rock is....and you had explained it in the post....I see you love the outdoors in Fall as much as we do and I enjoyed looking at the photos and hearing the commentary...that one photo you said was your favorite would look great in a frame...can't wait to see the photos at the buck rock.
Mama Bear