Friday, July 26, 2013

6th Anniversary - Watoga Arboretum

With Sunday morning's breakfast, Julian prayed the rain would hold off until we got everything packed. It did just that... and then it let loose. We had planned to visit the arboretum on our way out and we figured, what's the use worrying about rain, everything we own is a damp, humid mess already. So when it started sprinkling at the start of the two mile hike, we pressed onward. About a quarter of the way in, we were anxious for the shelter, as the sprinkle had turned into an all-out pour. We reached it (about five minutes later than we needed to but for the sake of the story, I'll say...) just in the nick of time.

We played a card game in the shelter to wait out the storm [cause I'm good like that on the packing cards]. Then forged a 1/4 mile sea of stinging nettles, the likes of which I've never seen. It made me glad for my ankle length skirt despite looking like a plain person with my tennis shoes on. Oh, I was so thankful.

The trail had many beautiful stone stairwells.
Rhododendrons were our makeshift shelter - thanks to the climate/elevation, some of them were still in bloom. 
The long awaited shelter
Sea of stinging nettles
I was not very happy with the person at Watoga who is supposed to look in on the arboretum and manage the trails. Some of them were impassable, and the nettles were downright miserable. Then we came upon the part of the park that had obviously had derecho damage and I was much more sympathetic. Whole swaths of mature forest were destroyed. Come to find out, this part of WV is still putting life back together after both the derecho and Hurricane Sandy. 

This tree had fallen and taken the stones with it.
Obvious devastation of forest and trail
A section about as big as a football field had been basically leveled.
My favorite things about this hike: the incredible moss, which I didn't photograph because it was pouring; the stone steps; the shelter; my new found knowledge of stinging nettles. 

Next up: Beartown...

No comments:

Post a Comment