Saturday, November 5, 2016

Halloween in the Woods year 3 part 2

This year Hubby and I got to do some hiking together. I am still nursing an injured leg but I considered this trip my last hurrah before really going into the recovery I need (even if I die of boredom). I always have trouble slowing down when I need to.
As said in the last post I got in around 8 miles on Monday but my leg wasn't happy about that at all so I took it easy the rest of the trip with short hikes. Tuesday we set out in search of the old cemetery on the grounds, the rangers won't tell you where it is and it is no longer on park maps because they have problems with looters. We turned off the wrong way but found the park boundary fence that was pretty cool to see, it even goes deep into the gorges, I would not have wanted to plant those posts.
While it is autumn and most things have died back we saw lots of cute little wildflowers in the various tall grasses.
This was one of the big drop offs, The trees on the bottom were super tall, this photo does not do justice to what a massive drop it was (especially for Florida).
The trail led out onto one of the outlooks, I got a little dizzy and didn't stay out there too long because I did not think I would be in good shape if I fell down the cliff.
 X-files Logo shirt from Torrid on a BOGO free sale, how could I resist?
After hiking we drove to the Gregory House and enjoyed the view for a while before heading back to camp.
Tuesday, after consulting with a friend via email, we set out again in hopes of finding the cemetery and this time we were successful. Our friend had mentioned last time he found it it looked like it had been looted but when we came across it it all the stones were planted correctly and there was a little flag by one of the graves. The stones were old and weathered, several had the remnants of wording but what I saw it looked new-ish and very sloppy, maybe it was vandals years ago and not the original text.
Shirt is from TeeFury, I got it as a gift and it has become my official camping shirt.

See how small the stones are? We asked the ranger if he knew about the family after we assured him we loved old cemeteries and would never harm one, he said the name matched with a family in a neighboring area but he didn't know more. He pointed us toward a small town headed back to town that had the graves of some of the Gregory family (that owned the big house) and if I hadn't gotten stung by a yellow jacket on my palm when we were packing up we would have gone in search of it, by that point I was tired and in pain and just wanted to get home.
 The area surrounding the cemetery was covered with adorable moss "puff balls", it was what drew me to the area first then I saw the graves.

After paying our respects at the graves we hiked back just in time for lunch.
To my surprise after lunch Hubby wanted to go out again and see the waterfall. It was our last full day there so I agreed. When we were getting on the trail a ranger warned hubby to change into hiking boots to protect his feet from copperheads as they still were active in the park because of warm temps. We had been lucky all week in not spotting one so Hubby took his chances in his crocs but thanked the ranger for the warning. We made it the whole trip without seeing any type of snake let alone a copperhead, thank goodness! I am pretty sure I would have a heart attack if we ran into a pit viper even if neither of us got bitten.
A tree at the waterfall is a popular spot for lover's initials.
This is an enormous tree by the Weeping Ridge lookout, the woodpeckers really enjoy it.

We didn't see much wildlife this trip apart from squirrels stashing nuts and bats hunting. A pair of pileated woodpeckers keep us company in the trees across from our campsite, their laugh like calls were fun to hear and we enjoyed watching them come and go. Our night visitors were little armadillos and an adorable trio of juvenile raccoons. 

I still have one more post coming with some night photos.

Some Bunny Lovea You!