Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shining Rock

This adventure took place on Tuesday, July 17. Being as I was too busy adventuring and packing, I'm only getting around to it now.


I call this photo "Monster Leg".

Before leaving NC, I hit up Shining Rock with Robb, as I had never been to that area of my 'back yard' before. When we got to the top, I could see why it was named Shining Rock... I romanticize it to the point where I imagine the early explorers hacking through the forest to an adjoining peak and getting the first glimpse of the white quartz glittering through the trees. Maybe I like it so much because it hasn't changed - it's the exact same thing that the Native Americans and European explorers saw, and the name is simple and true, with a hint of imagination.


May I continue? I shall. The Cherokee name for it is Datsu'nălâsgûñ'yĭ, which translates to "where their tracks are this way" and refers to a rock that is said to have tracks of Tsul 'Kalu and his children. (Thanks, Wikipedia) What's that? You don't know who Tsul 'Kalu is? How uninformed you are. Wikipedia's on that, too. (He's considered by some to be a sort of Native American Bigfoot.) Sorry to parrot Wikipedia to you, but this stuff is interesting, and it adds more to the adventure. Honestly, I don't like hiking, but it's a good way to see some fascinating and beautiful things.

Ready for some of those beautiful things? To get up on the rock, you have to go to the base of it, then do a little low-level rock climbing to scramble to the top. Meaning, you're in the woods facing a big pile of white quartz, then you climb it and are suddenly up above the trees, looking out on this.

From one direction there was a storm rolling in...


... from the other, low-lying clouds and rays of sunlight streaking the hills. I think I breathed 'Oh wow' as I took it in.





Katy at Shining Rock



Before we hiked back we checked out the forest below. You may notice Robb's got a big honkin' pack on - he did that just for fun, and to train for an upcoming trip.



There were lots of these little guys on the hike down, and they were easy to spot because they shone in the light of the headlamps.

Plethodon whatsitsfacerii

I guilted Robb into chasing down a small snake and getting a picture of it 'for the blog'. You're welcome.


No comments: