Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harsh Realities

MST – Day 42 – 11/18/10 – Highway 321 to Bamboo Gap – 6.5 Miles

One last little bit of the Mountains-To-Sea Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just 6.5 miles today. As Danny approached our parking spot to begin our trek, we came upon a very young deer lying bleeding in the road – it obviously had been struck just moments before. About 50 yards ahead on the side of the road stood its companion (mama?) looking back at the small lump on the pavement. I could see the distress in her eyes before she turned and leaped into the woods.

We began walking towards the carcass just as a Parkway vehicle drove up with flashers on. Probably the driver that hit the deer had called it in. We hurried forward to take a photo of the process, but the Park guy was all business. He grabbed the animal, front legs in one hand, back legs in the other, then dragged it to the roadside and tossed it up onto the hill near the trees. We said hello and he smiled and nodded, but did not stay to chat. As I walked past the spot on the road where the deer had fallen, it was slick with thick red blood. I haven’t been around too much blood in my life and I was a little taken aback at the brightness of it against the black asphalt.

We took the few steps up the hill to where the deer carcass was deposited and took a photo, but I could not detach from the emotion and decided not to use it. Twenty minutes ago Bambi was alive and following his mother. I know nature is harsh but…

Like yesterday, a cold wind blew and I had overdressed but early on I stopped and rearranged to just a short-sleeved shirt and my rain jacket. I felt slightly chilled the rest of the day but was able to control it with hat and gloves rather than sweat dripping down my back at every exertion (a whopping 600 feet elevation gain in 6.5 miles). Views from the overlooks were that hazy blue that lends the mountain range its name.

Me on maintenance equipment

Big cows and big houses

Awesome stonework on bridge over Goshen Prong - you gotta get out of your car to check this out

Being so close to Blowing Rock, there was a bit of traffic on the Parkway. Fun moment: A guy driving past us stopped and yelled out the window, “Are you walking to the sea?” How novel to have someone know what we are doing!

Check out Danny's blog for today here.

“Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.” ~Tallulah Bankhead

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