June 28, 2012 [LINK / comment]

Mountain hike, interrupted

The weather was nearly perfect yesterday,* so I went for a hike around Trimble Mountain, but my plans were rudely interrupted by a large Black Bear on the trail ahead of me. The hulking beast ran away at a startlingly rapid clip, but I decided to play it safe and reverse course rather than risk an ugly dispute over "property rights." Who knows, he/she might have had a lawyer; now that's a frightening thought! smile I had intended to complete the four-mile loop, but only made it about two-thirds the way to the halfway point near the summit. Oh well. As I returned to the beginning of the loop trail, I came across two women hikers, and they decided to go elsewhere after I informed them of the bear's presence.

And so, I took advantage of the extra time I had left by photographing butterflies in a meadow at the bottom of the mountain, and at Elkins Lake, which is a few miles south; see the Butterflies photo gallery page. I exited the forest via the southern route, stopping briefly at Chimney Hollow, and then headed home. Trimble Mountain is located near Todd Lake in northern Augusta County, just a few miles south of Reddish Knob (which I had visited on June 9), part of George Washington National Forest. Northern Augusta County is a truly wonderful place for nature lovers of all persuasions, and it's easier to get to than you might think.

Elkhorn Lake

Elkhorn Lake, looking eastward. Roll mouse over image to see Todd Lake, looking northwest.

I added those photos and a couple others to the Summer 2012 photo gallery page.

My last hike up Trimble Mountain was in May 2009, during bird migration season. This time there weren't many birds to be seen, and only a few that were heard.

* In stark contrast to today. Hot, hot, hot!