Friday, June 11, 2010

Nice Day for a Hike

Linda woke this mornin’ with the idea of takin’ a hike up in the Allegheny NF. Don had mentioned takin’  a drive up to Minister Creek and hikin’ out to the rocks he remembered as a kid. So it must have been weighin’ heavy on Linda’s mind in the early mornin’ as she lie in bed and guess what? It’s hikin’ today! Not a problem, I’m up for it. We took a short 2.5 mile walk last night to settle our supper.

So we packed a picnic lunch for the four of us and Don & Jessie picked us up. We drove the 20 or so miles through many small burgs that had names but that was about it. We arrived at Minister Creek, at a parkin’ area then decided we should go across the road to the campground to see if we could find a table for our lunch. As luck would have it there was only one campsite taken so we had a choice of spots. After selectin’ one we commenced to ‘picnicin’.


Fuelin’ up for the hike!

I spoke to a couple who spent a lot of time hikin’ the Minister Creek trails for years and was told the Minister Creek Overlook, our destination for today, was about 2 miles out. Then we commenced to hikin’. We crossed the creek and started follerin’ the trail.


Soon we came to an old buildin’ that looks like it was left from the ‘Oil Era’. It was probably a machine shed for the oil wells in the area.


The extensive open area is used by campers now as well as the structure that remains.


It makes a nice cook shack and a great place to take shelter from the numerous rains we’ve been gettin’ in the last weeks. This clearin’ is unusual as the forest is really thick, to the point that there is little sun that reaches the forest floor and the primary ground cover is fern. So as we continue on the trail towards the Minister Rocks Overlook, we re-enter the thick woods.


Here’s the girls by one of the first rocks we encounter. The root behind the girls is from the tree on the opposite side of the rock and was large enough to allow Don to walk up it to reach the top of the rock.


And we continue on.


And on

Then after walkin’ up, up, up on this mountain we finally are rewarded with the prize we’ve been searchin’ fer’.


We made it to the top.


This is the view that we’re rewarded with at the top.

The area is covered with large boulders and there are large crevices that are intermingled with the boulders. The path through the crevices shows a change in elevation of 100-150’ and far to steep for us to navigate down. Before headin’ back down I asked everyone to sit and rest while munchin’ on a trail bar and drinkin’ some water. This is the first I’ve sat down since we started up the trail and I was enjoyin’ it.


We seemed to attract a friend who was coy but still soliciting for a hand out.


He sure liked the chocolate chip trail bar.

After our short rest we started back down, but someone knew a better way to return, after all, it’s only been 65 years since they were here. More direct & more swampy, fer the girls who were wearin’ tennis shoes. There were times when we knew we should turn around and go back the trail we came up on. But we followed an old loggin’ road after we made our way down out of the rocks. Eventually we came to the highway. We were only a mile down the road from the car. Linda and I walked back to the car and brought it back to pick up Don & Jessie.

We had a great day in the woods with only one mishap. Jessie’s hikin’ stick broke as she was traversin’ on of those muddy, wet, swampy spots and she went down in a little mud. Thank goodness she was not hurt.

Well that’s all fer’ today. No need to rock this ole’ boy to bed tonight, I’m Pooped!! Maybe we’ll see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

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