Fall Lake hiking and Blackberry Vodka

 

Waiting for everyone else.

Waiting for everyone else.

I am so excellent!!! Today, I went hiking with friends at Fall Lake State Recreation Area Rolling View Trail head (part of the mountain to sea trail). It was rainy, but it was awesome! We gather in the parking lot before the entrance and begin looking for the trail.  At first the rain was light but we had our rain gear just in case.  We found the trail which is what we thought until it took us to a campground so we back track and found the right trail.

Review the map

Review the map

Throughout the trail, we saw some cool looking mushrooms and the cutest Eastern Box turtle. I did see a deer but it move so fast no one else saw it.

Half way, we pick blackberries.  Picking blackberries is not so easy for there is blood and the battle of tug o’ war with the thorns.  A few time, my hair got stuck and I got my fair share of cuts. It started raining again when we got to the blackberries and it rained heavy on the way back on the trail. It rain so hard on the way back, most of the trail was flooded.

I got all the blackberries I need for making Blackberry Vodka. Which I made today after hiking with my friends. It is pretty easy to make.  You just need blackberries, sugar, a jar, and vodka.  It takes about 4 months of fermentation and 5 months of aging. I will be moving in a week so it will make a great center piece for my breakfast bar.

Laurel Bluffs trail

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It have been raining a lot in the past week. The trails are muddle and some areas on the trails are flooding. However, I can’t wait for them to dry out because being stuck inside sucks.  So last week I went hiking on Laurel Bluffs trail at Eno River State Park. Laurel Bluffs trail is very large , so I went on the part between the pump station and Guest Road. That part of the trail is 2.5 mile.  The river was to it maximum capability. Many of the wildlife was not around the area. However, I did see a hummingbird.  It was so fast, I only saw it once. It was fun hiking on trails that are muddling and flooding because it was a challenge to keep my shoes from getting wet and full of mud. Just another thing that keep me on my toes.

Like I say on my last post, I am learning more about mushroom.  I saw more cool looking mushroom on this hike as well as my last one.

I think the red one maybe Hygrocybe miniata. I am not sure. Well, it is hard to identify them. I am starting to thing it maybe more fun to take pictures of them and enjoy the different colors of them.  Plus they look better when there is a collection of them together. On my next post, I will have some better pictures of them.  A friend of mine told me of the macro setting on my camera that I did not know about.  Yeah, so I am still learning how to use my camera.  Well, not everyone can be good at everything at first. Hey, it is fun learning these things and it is a good laugh at the same time.

Another thing I have learned in the past week  is that I can drive up to deer and take their picture without any problem because my car does not make a sound. I have a Prius with is kind of nice in the fact it take less gas than most other cars. It is nice that the deer does not run off as soon as they see me because I am so quiet. What a day, that just made my day to see deer.  Deer are so cute.

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Eno River State Park Pump Station Trail

Yesterday, I hiked the pump station trail at Eno River State Park.  It was rainy and wet everywhere. That was okay, I had a goal in mind while I hiked on the trail.  My goal was to take pictures of different mushroom to  learn how to identify them.  I can not identify them just by matching them with photos in a book.  It is very complex.  The only thing I can do is guest and identify what kind of carpophore form the mushroom are.

In the picture above are many example of different carpophore forms.  This is just the beginning of identify mushroom.  This is the easy part. The hardest part is identify mushroom with macro- and microchemical reactions, and observation by microscope. I believe it would take someone years to be able to identify while in the woods. I think that is why many people become sick from making the mistake of thinking it is edible while it is poison. Too many of the edible mushrooms look like the poison ones. Well, I don’t really care if they are edible or poison, it is just another cool thing to look out for when I am on the trails.

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Falls Lake Hiking and Group Camping Trip

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Wow, what a fun weekend full of hiking and camping with friends I had. This weekend I went to Falls Lake State Recreation Area. First thing first, we set up our tents at the campground.  It was interest because some of the guys this was their first camping trip.  It made the camping trip excellent to show wondrous of camping to new campers. For example,  one guy did not know what a s’mores was.

Next we went hiking on part of the Mountain to Sea Trail (round trip 6 miles total). There was lots of colorful mushroom all through out the trail.  Some was asking if I know what kind of mushroom was them.  I had no idea, so it made me want to get a field guide-book on mushroom and learn more. The trail was a little muddling because it had been raining before we went on the hike.  Afterward, it was nice having showers at the camp area and the water was warm.

Later we started a fire and prepared out dinner.  Dinner was a family style where everyone brought something to share with everyone.  It was relaxing and a time for us to talk around the camp fire. Some people was louder than others while we joke and laugh sharing each other stories. It was full of stories of possum beating with crowbar, horses fighting over man in a tent, and adventures of climbing and kayaking in the dark of night.

We turn in for the night and slept in our tents.  It rain all night and thunder and light throughout the night. I still dry in my tent while I forgot to put my shoes in the tent with me.  Everyone was pretty dry through out the night; however, one person forgot to shut their window to their tent so everything in their tent was wet.

In the morning, we clean up and took down our tents. I was not feeling to well, I did not go with them on the hiking that day but say my good-bye  to everyone. It was a fun adventures that I would like to do with them again.

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