Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hiking at Hanging Rock

Well...I love hiking, but I also like being able to walk normally, which I finally can now. I went hiking with my friend Laura on Saturday afternoon, and I've been a little sore ever since then. We went up to Hanging Rock...and took the most strenuous trail apparently. It wasn't really that steep, it was just very long. We wanted something challenging though, not just an easy walk, so we went on the Moore's Knob Wall loop trail, but apparently we're not as in shape as we thought. :) Or rather, we weren't. We are now.

We had a nice scenic drive going up there too, because we first got stuck behind a tractor, and then behind elderly people going under the speed limit. (I like driving on curvy mountain roads, but not driving slowly.) But we finally made it up there and headed out on the trail.

At one point we had stopped to sit on a rock for a little bit and were talking about how perfectly quiet it was. There wasn't any noise at all at that point, not even any animals. Well, I'd just drunk some of my water, which made my stomach make a strange gurgling sound, at which point Laura looked absolutely startled and horrified, while I couldn't stop laughing to explain what it was she had heard. :D

We took pictures of course.

Me with a nice tree:

Hey, the tree pushed me!:

Laura, looking for salamanders:

Laura again...looking annoyingly photogenic:

We found goldfish...about three of them:

We had lots of random and interesting discussion during our hike, including the fact that we both wish we had a small handgun, and a concealed-carry permit. Glad to know I'm not the only one... :D

When we were about 3/4 of the way through our hike, we came across a group of middle-school boy scouts and their scout leaders (one of which had a Scottish accent!). We stopped and asked the scout leaders how much further we had to go. They asked if we had a map, and I'm sure were quite horrified that we didn't have one, but really, I don't see how the map helps, since it's just a sort of sketch of the trails, and wouldn't really help us tell where we were. Anyway, they told us we didn't have a whole lot further to go, just a lot of downhill down stone steps.

It was getting late, but we decided we had a better chance going down the other side, rather than retracing our steps. So we did. In fact, we jogged a lot of the way. Laughing at ourselves at we went, because it was rather ridiculous.

Anyway, we made it down and out of the park before it started getting dark. I had no cell phone reception until we got into Stokes County though. I don't know what I would do for a cell phone if I lived in Surry County...I couldn't get by with a Tracfone at any rate. But maybe no cell phones work up there, I have no idea.

So that was fun, but after the jogging down rocks my spine was killing me. Mom gave me a hug that night and I squawked when she touched my back, and realized my whole spine was sore to the touch. "What...?? Why...?" Mom reminded me that I'd been jogging over rock. Oh, right. Well, that's awesome the way spines absorb shocks, but man, did it hurt!

When we got back into Winston, I had to take Laura home, then get back home and take a super-fast shower and head off to babysit. I think I pretty much walked in the door, said "Hi. The trail was a little more strenuous than we thought", showered and dressed and then said "Bye. Yeah, I'm gonna grab something to eat" as I headed out the door. Oof. Maybe I packed that day a little tight, but I had fun. :)

(I'm listening to iTunes while I type, so: "We've got a kinder, gentler, machine-gun hand.....keep on rockin' in the free world!") Maybe I'll start putting a song on every blog post. :) Maybe. Maybe not. We shall just have to see.


Rachael T said...

Hiking, yay! It's always more difficult than I expect it to be.

Paul (from Contra) said...

So the picture where you got stuck behind the tractor was exactly 2.7 miles from my house.

Natalie said...

Really, I know, Rachael! :D

Exactly 2.7, Paul? And you shake your head at me being dorky...

abby said...

Laura is super photogenic. if only i was also...

looks like you all had a good time!:)

Ellie Snider said...

I always wished I was the kinda person who liked to hike. lol. I honestly can't stand it. But everyone else seems to love it in my family. To each it's own :D

Uncle Jim said...

Btw, you can get that concealed carry permit in NC at the ripe old age of 21.

You may not have met too many young ladies who are concerned with protecting themselves (or their families/friends), but that probably has more to do with your parents' upbringing than your own. :)

In all seriousness, the number of women (young and old) seeking firearms training and concealed handgun licensing is growing at a faster rate than ever before.

When you get closer to the point of being able to apply, perhaps we can chat about the tough decisions that one must be prepared to make if one chooses to carry a firearm. Carrying a firearm without the ability or willingness to use it when needed is more hazardous than walking through the ghetto without one.

Natalie said...

Yes, I'm not sure I need to be getting a gun right now, and obviously I'm not quite old enough for the concealed carry permit yet.

And I'll certainly talk to you about it when I do think about getting one. :)