Shhh…I did something totally against the rules today…sorry, sorry, sorry, it was a total blunder on my part, but no one saw us and we left NO trace.
More on that later. Let’s start at the beginning. Sidekick Pauli not wanting to get up!
At home she has hours of down time to kick back and relax. Here in the campground she was on constant alert. Add that to 7 up and down miles yesterday in the heat…and well, no smiles this morning.
I gave her some down time by heading south to Loft Mountain. She crashed in the back of the car and came out a new dog once we reached Loft Wayside. Even so, I figured an easier day of hiking wouldn’t be a bad thing.
It looked like a pretty nice hike could be had by taking the Frazier Discovery Trail up to the AT, then loop around Loft. Straight uphill, so much for taking it easy! We found a spring of nice, cool water, which Pauli immediately claimed for the next few minutes lapping furiously.
The Frazier Discovery Trail has some pretty cool rocks along it, but I wondered what else I was to possibly discover. Mostly wooded, I continued to slog uphill. It was already hot and it was only 8:30 AM!
Reaching the AT, I found an awesome outcropping where we took a short break before continuing along the AT. Short because I could feel myself getting skin cancer out there on the rocks. Seriously. It.Was.Hot. (and super sunny)
The loop around Loft Mountain on the AT ended at the Amphitheater. At which point I met up with a woman I had previously passed on the trail. She was camping at Loft and wanted to do the Loop, but she couldn’t take her dog on Frazier Discovery Trail since DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED!!! “Oh crap!” I exclaimed, “I just came up that way!” Now, for most people, maybe they wouldn’t care that they had just done something like TAKE THEIR DOG IN A PLACE SHE WASN’T ALLOWED…but I felt really, really, guilty! But there was no sign. I looked when I went back down the hill, because, seriously, it bugged me. There was a sign for “no bicycles” but nothing about no dogs. I can say, though, that my dog was on leash AND I cleaned up after her…left NO trace! But now that I know, well, I won’t do it again.
Back at the campsite, the neighboring campers came over and warned me about a deer that is especially aggressive towards dogs. Apparently, this is the deer who has been stashing her baby fawn in the campground area. I happened upon this fawn yesterday over by the Big Meadow picnic grounds. I got a picture with a zoom!
Anyway, good for the deer! This place had become a cluster…and so many people had dogs off leash without any kind of voice control. ergh…
When I was a kid at camp, one of the activities we did was to close our eyes and just listen, making note of the sounds heard. I closed my eyes…wind in the trees, families conversing, buzzing, birdsong, rangers beeping at people out on the main road, motorcycles, Pauli turning over in the grass, and MusicMan’s radio…Hike On!