Monday, July 20, 2009

Lions, Tigers and BEARS, oh my!!

It is Monday afternoon and I could barely roll out of bed this morning. The aches and pains in muscles I never knew I had were making themselves known. This past weekend, I and a fabulous group of friends went backpacking through the north Georgia Mountains. We hiked approximately 14 miles in TWO days! It was a blast!

The trail was called Jack's Creek River Trail. On Saturday, we started out bright and early at 5am!! Started hiking around 10:30am after filling our bellies with some delicious Chick-fil-a biscuits. mmmmm. We hiked a bit and arrived at the falls around 2-ish. The falls were beautiful and so were we in our swim suits...not. We lived dangerously and jumped off some cliffs into the frothy water below. It took me around 20 minutes to work myself up to jumping off. I did it though with some coaxing from my cliff jumping coach Alexia. We are so brave!

[Aubrey doing a BACK FLIP off the cliff!!?!]

After sunning and chilling next to the falls we started to look for a campsite and[wildlife sighting number one] instead we found a BEAR! Yes, I said it a real live people eating, grunting, hairy, BEAR! In the woods! Of course our very bright hiking companions decided they wanted a picture with the bear [it was only a cub BUT STILL!]. I being the safety first type gal stood about 300 feet away while the boys messed with baby bear. I was concerned that mama bear was going to make a grand appearance so I wanted to be as far away from them as possible. Thankfully mama bear was occupied.

We found a decent campsite and set up camp for the night. Then we all took a nap! Hurray for group nap time! After nap time we woke up and fixed some din din and Joe the fire master built us a fire. Then we all drifted off into a peaceful sleep listening to the rushing water from the river. So soothing.

Sunday we woke up ate some B-fast and began to hike out. We crossed the river 20-something times in 6 miles!! Holy Moley! Most of the river crossings were thigh deep too! It was CHILLY water! Oh and wildlife sighting number two: We were crossing the river for what seemed like the millionth time and a snake slithered across a rock and into the water RIGHT in front of me! eeek!

[Nerd Alert: The Biology Major in me did some research. The snake I saw was most likely the Queen Snake. Common to Georgia and Nonvenomous! "The habitat requirements for the Queen snake are very specific, and this snake is never found in areas that lack clean running streams and watersheds with stony and rocky bottoms. The water temperature must be a minimum of 50°F (28°C) during the snake's active months. This is in a large part due to the snake's dietary requirements. They subsist almost entirely on fresh water crayfish" ] After hiking for what seemed like forever and a day. Wildlife sighting number 3: Aubrey, Lk and I were behind the rest of the group. Mainly because Lk and I are SHORT and have a harder time jumping rocks across the river! We were walking on a flat part of the trail where we could see a couple hundred yards ahead of us and we see a black blur slowly walk across the trail! [another BEAR!] oh and when we got closer to the spot of the sighting Lk stepped in Bear Poop! eeeeeewwwwwwwww!
We finally finished hiking around 3:30pm on Sunday! My calves hurt oh-so-badly and it looks like I have been beaten. Crossing the rivers I slipped and fell so many times I have cuts and bruises all over my legs! [also note to self: do NOT forget to bring bug spray next time!!]
Overall, it was a successful and great trip. Everyone made it out alive with all of their body parts! we win! If anyone is interested in joining us for the next go round give me a holler!
now, time to study for exams....ugh

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