An Autumn Day on the Haw River

I did some hiking the other day on the Haw River on Hwy 64 and on Hwy 15 501.  First I hike on Hwy 64 head trail (south). It was a beautiful Autumn day.  I got there right when the sun was coming up.  The weather that day was overcast. Than I hiked on the Haw River off of Hwy 15 501 head trail (north).

Sometime I forget how beautiful fall is because I am used to seeing it every year.  One of my friend have only been in the state for about four months and this is the first time he have seen the trees change colors.  He has been very excited about the leaves changing colors, that is all he talk about. When I was editing the pictures I took, I thought wow, he is right they are very pretty (just not so much in parking lots).  There below is all the photos I took of my hiking trip.  I had a hard time picked the best one, so I posted all of them.  Words do no justice to describe the beauty of the Autumn day.

Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground

Croatan National Forest

This last weekend, I went on a camping trip at Oyster Point Campground inside Croatan National Forest.  I had so much fun on my trip.   It cost only $8 dollars per night. The host camper was really nice.  They were celebrated their anniversary and looked really happy.

The only draw back to the trip was that the bug spray does not work again horseflies. I started my first day by hiking on Neusiok trail; however I lost the trail and the horseflies was eating me alive. I spend the morning on the trail.  The trail was enjoyable in the fact that I saw wild blueberries, turtles, and wildflowers.  I did not want to spend the whole day on a 22 mile trail and get eating by horseflies, so I used my GPS on my phone and found the nearest beach.  I have never been to the beaches of NC so it was a new adventure for me.  I went to Emerald Isle Beach.  My first thought when I learn of Emerald Isle in NC was the anime seriesAvatar the Last Airbender” when Zuko and his sister and her friend went on vacation.  When the old lady twins said, “Emerald Isle a magical place when you can learn things about your self that you never knew.” Well, it did feel like a new day. The water looked as the color of emerald stones. As I sat on the beach, I could feel the saltwater air and smells of the oceans. I was able to relax and spend some time swimming.

Emerald Isle NC

As the day die down, I headed back to camp.  I set up my tent and made a fire. I had a little trouble started my fire at the beginning.  I used magnesium fire starter but it was too windy, so I borrowed some matches from the host camper.  After that I had a nice fire and I boiled some water for my ramen. As I was making my dinner, some more people came to the campground.  They were having trouble founding fire wood so I help them.  I knew where the fire wood was and I had my handle headlight to guide me. After that I put my camp fire out and when to bed in my tent.  I had trouble sleeping because the ground was hard but I was so tire that I fell asleep right away.  It was weird, I was asleep but I could heard everything going on around me.  The campers next to me was up almost the whole night and new campers was setting up their tent.

The next morning, I walked a small trail behind my camp set  that lead to the water bank.  I saw these tiny crabs and hermit crabs. The view of the water bank from there was beautiful.  There was many different birds in the distance fishing. I did not see any alligator but I heard them through out the night and the other camper was freaking out. I forget something that most people are not used to alligators.  I grow up in New Orleans, so alligators don’t scary me. They normally stay in the water or near the water unless the female alligator lay a nest. Many years ago, when I visit the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans their was female alligator guarding her nest near the waterway. That is the closest I been to an alligator.

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After that I say my good-bye to Oyster Point  Campground  and heading out.  On my way back home, I stop off at another park of the National Forest.  It was much better trail to walk on for sure because no horseflies. It was loop trail and it had many good points about it.  It had plant life that I never seen before.  There was a snake on the trail; however, I did not know about it right away because a lady with two dogs was walking toward me.  The lady step on the snake and I did not see the snake until she pointing it out.  I don’t like dogs so I a little on guard when dogs come near me. It was a copperhead snake. I also saw this really cool dragonfly. There was also some nice outlook point when you can see the water from up high. At one point the path turn into a water board path when  you cross this dry up swamp.

This trip really did feel like a small vacation.  I got some sun and was able to relax. I walk some cool trails and saw many cool things. It was not terrible hot and in fact I fell cold at night.

Jordan Lake State Park (Part 1:New Hope Overlook)

Few weeks ago, I spend the whole day at Jordan Lake State Park.  I planned to be at the park all day so I packed a lunch, snacks, and water. I put everything in my rucksack. My rucksack is very important to me because it was given to me when I was in the army. I am used to be carried heavy rucksack due to my army experience.  Hiking with a rucksack is more of a challenge and it is great at increasing your endurance. I enjoy the workout that I get from it.  Plus because I am prepared for all day it make it is easier for me to commit to 5 plus miles trail.

I started the day by hiking on New Hope Overlook Trail Red.  The red trail is 5.4 miles and it is a moderate level. The trail is mark with Red and Blue hiker on the trees so you know which trail you are on.  The New Hope Overlook trail is a new trail put on my the state park.  When I first starting this hike, I meant to hike around the whole loop including red and blue trail.  However, the trail was confused so I end up hiked only the red trail. I will have to hike this trail more often to get used to it.

Otter NestThere are some places on the trail that look like beaver or otter homes.  I went on a Saturday so any water life was hard to spot because of all of the speed boats. However, beavers are normally active during the night-time.  Some of my researcher friends told me about how they stood on a beaver nest in the middle of a pond at night because they were survival frogs by their sounds.  The beavers were not too happy that they were standing on their house so they splash them and my friends left all wet.

green flowers

Since I started hiking in NC, I came across these beautiful flower that are mostly green with little white and orange on the tip of the flower. I am having a hard time figure out what tree the flower come from.  If anyone know, please tell me because I am curious to found out.

One thing that is great about hiking on Jordan Lake is that you can pay for car entrance  day pass at one recreation area and show that receipt to other recreation area in the park to enter. It was great for me because I was able to checkout many different trails in many different recreation area.

I will say this, I have more to write about this day.  I will write it in parts so this part 1.

Awesome Day!!!

Awesome Day!!!

 

Eno River State Park Cox Trail May 2013

Rule for Foot bridge: No jumping, No running, and No horse playing

I enjoy hiking and feeling the wind on my face as I explode the great outdoors. Eno River State Park were lots of fun because for starter I walked across a shaky bridge. I saw at least three deer. The trail that I went on at the state park is the Cox Trail. It is a 3.75 mile loop that take you across steep elevation and down by the Eno River. I saw an eastern box turtle shell, tad poles, leopard frog, and snakes. I began the hike at 8 am in the morning because there is a higher chances of seeing wildlife than in the middle of the day or at the end of the day. I enjoy hiking in the morning because it is a good way for me to start my day. I like waking up to the smells of wildflowers and fresh air. I spend a lot of time thinking while I walk so I walk at a slower pace.  It is a time that I can reflect and relax. Also, if I was to rush my time out there then I would not have seen the wildlife or took the time to smell the flowers.  I have lots of problem in my life so it is important that I slow down so I can process all my thoughts.

Plus when I am on these trails, I feel like a kid in a candy store.  I can’t help but get excited to see deer, frogs, and etc.  It is not so much I enjoy seeing them but knowing that they are there.  A sign of a health ecological system is that there is a biodiversity of species in the ecological system. Many of the trails and parks in NC are sites that were once farmland or storm-drain system converted back into a natural ecological water system.  Wildlife is hard to spot in general,  however, it is good to see sign of wildlife on a hike for that means wildlife are increasing.  I know the deer population is increasing because the other day on my way to Eno River State Park, I must had seen like twenty deer eating in someone garden near Eno River State Park.

Deer having their breakfast

I know as time go by I will get better at blogging. Right now I am having a hard time saying much about anything because I have a big day tomorrow. Also, I am going to try to see if I can blog using my mobile too or bringing a notebook with me. I think I need to write things down as they come to me instead of waiting to later.