So we did! There was just one small, slight problem..Theresa had bad knees and she freely admitted that they would probably bother her, but she REALLY wanted to see some sights. She brought plenty of pain medicine, she said. She was prepared! So we started out easy...a short Beech Mountain hike of about .7 of a mile, but a quick ascent and then a more gentle loop back down. Piece of cake!
We are ready for more, they said. OK...We'll do the Beech Mountain hike to the fire tower...That's got some AWESOME scenery! What we DIDN'T remember, is that the Beech Mountain hike to the fire tower is a STRENUOUS hike. We thought one of our hiking books said it was a "moderate" hike. What we did remember is, last time we did this, (Sparky and Eldo), we went the wrong way on the hike out of the parking lot and ended up doing an almost three mile hike up to the fire tower and back. This time should be easier if we went the correct way and the total distance would be about 1.8 miles, both hikes put together. That sounds pretty good, everybody agreed..Let's do it! Eldy asked, Sis, are you ok to do this? Yep! So off we went up the side of Beech Mountain., 839 feet high and a popular hike, judging by the number of people we met going up and down today. We made sure to take plenty of rest breaks.
|Chuck and Eldy taking a break|
We get to the fire tower, and normally, it's closed most of the summer. Today, we got lucky and it was open another two levels. Only six people at a time can be on the tower. Up we went to admire the view. Sparky was a little nervous about rusty girders, skinny railings and swaying movement in the tower, so she got a fast photo and headed down.
|Our picnic view|
|Second level firetower view|
Some guy had his dachshund running around behind him on the trail, no leash. That caught their attention right away and they called him on it. He made a feeble excuse that he had the leash with his trail partner. Sparky said, "I'll bet that's one tired pooch at the end of the day!" And the dog's owner said, "Aw, heck, he can run this trail twice and not be tired." Too bad he's not following the "Leave No Trace" principles. I'm sure he lets his dog run wherever he wants to, trampling the vegetation and pooping and peeing wherever he wants. Gr-r-r-r.....(That's Sparky, not the dog, clarifies Eldo.)
Back down we came, it was extremely rugged and rocky--rough finding places to place your feet, and it was necessary to take large steps down onto very rocky terrain. It was tough! Even with hiking sticks! After we got back, it was time for R & R...a little wine, a little beer and a LOT of ice!
|Nurse Sparky got out the ice pronto for Theresa's knees|