It keeps getting hotter and the locals keep telling me this is August weather. So I am thinking what is August going to like, I will have to start my hikes at 6:30 a.m. if it gets any hotter. When I leave at 7:20 a.m. it is already 89 degrees and I am sweating before the first half mile. I hike up North Mountain via the Floral Trail and head directly to the Upper Dogwood Trail. As I begin my climb a lovely blue and turquoise Butterfly lands on the trail in front of me. It does a ballet of turning and gently fanning it’s wings, it is a peaceful moment in the heat. A lovely living work of art.
I break my own general rule of not trying to out guess Nature, because I never win. I hope to see another Deer so I hike like I have only a limited time to get to my destination. Of course I arrive to my secret location to find nothing, I stand panting, sweating and guzzling water. Laughing is my only option because the joke is on me. I decide to hike over to Goat Rock Trail and have an extended hike.
The Goat Rock Trail is beautiful, not over manicured and a smidgen overgrown. Perfect! A light breeze is traveling through the park and it feels glorious on my damp skin. Within all the green I am happy to see a lone wildflower, a pretty purple Scaly Shooting Star. Hiking down the Goat Rock Trail has proven to be a wonderful idea.
With the heat rising I decide to pick up my pace to reach the Gulpha Gorge. When I look up I spot two larger Turkey Vultures circling above me, I quickly take my pulse. Relieved that they are not here for me I head up the Gulpha Gorge Trail and then connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. I connect with the Honeysuckle and then the Floral Trail to exit the park. I am now out of water and it is time to head home. I Love the park!
Nature has a wicked sense of humor when you try to out guess it 🙂