Jim Warnock, our fellow club member and friend, once again gave us a great presentation of his recent trip as well as a book that he has recently written. Jim and 4 friends went out to California to do a marathon hike on the John Muir Trail in the high sierras. The first hurdle was getting hiking permits that are on a lottery system with only a lucky few being successful. These guys were savvy hikers so they knew what kind of equipment to bring including bear canisters to keep Yogi Bear and his cohorts from stealing their food!
Twenty-one TrailBlazers once again headed to Montana for Glacier Caper #3 and lodged at Mountain Cleft, the same place as Glacier #2, but this time the center of the park was not blocked with snow! There were many more visitors than the previous times, possibly because this is the 100th, Anniversary of the National Parks. Parking was a big headache, so we realized after day one that we would have to leave the house at 7:00 am to go anywhere! Cruising around looking for a parking place gets really old! We only had 2 cans of bear spray but there were so many hikers that there were only a couple of bear encounters while hiking and our camera buffs loved them. In addition to black bears and grizzlies, others saw mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain lion, deer, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, free range cattle, and bison.
Thirty TrailBlazers, a small but mighty band, once again ended the season at Devil’s Den. We were happy to see some new faces, friends and relatives of members. In a startling, mindboggling change for the TrailBlazers, we had our picnic on a Saturday due to problems making arrangements to use the pavilion on Sunday. A couple of us, unaccustomed to and uncomfortable with change, almost missed the event by planning to show up on Sunday! We had great weather, a little warm and muggy, but there were some occasional breezes.
Oh, so sad! We did our next-to-last hike of the season on this cool May morning at a new hiking trail for the TrailBlazers. Thirteen hikers, one dog, and one bird hiked the Rookery Trail at Lake Sequoyah. That's east of Fayetteville on Hwy 16 just before you get to Elkins.
Twenty-seven TrailBlazers were pleased to welcome several newcomers and/or first timers to hike to three waterfalls located in the same general area. The weather was bright, sunny and quite warm, or downright hot in the opinion of Yours Truly! The greenery along the drive was just a forerunner of what we would see on the trails.
Twenty-two Trailblazers, including 4 first timers, headed up to Newton County on the annual pilgrimage to Buffalo Lodge. The drive up was beautiful with lovely clouds, spring greenery, dogwood, redbuds, and hills covered with all shades of green. The weather wasn’t as good as we would have liked, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been! We were able to have our Friday night hot dog roast outside around the campfire. Weather did preclude having a 2016 River Rat Team paddle the Buffalo, but we still were able to hike with some mist and overcast skies on Saturday and improved weather on Sunday.
Twenty-eight TrailBlazers and one canine, including newcomers who are always welcome, headed up to Fayetteville on a beautiful day for our third annual trek on the Greenways Trails where lots of new projects are in the works. Frank Sharp met us at the parking lot to tell us about the changes, the first of which was that we were going to access the trail right from the parking lot rather than from his neat home nestled in the trees up the road. His famous pizza lunches were growing too large to accommodate so many people up there.