Kurt's Hikes: August 2013
Ben and Gail on one of the three ocean-facing porches at Seascape, the house at Garden City Beach, S.C. 8/10-8/17, 2013
Hike, August 3, 2013
Time was, The Day Hiker ate this walk for lunch. I mean we always tacked on the little Fallingwater Cascades loop on the other side of the parkway to make sure we got enough distance in.
On this day, she spent the last .5 miles (or so the sign says), complaining that there was no way it was .5 from where it says .5 to the top of the 4,001-foot peak and its great views to west and east. And yes, when it takes you 20 minutes to get from sign to summit, you tend to think maybe it's a little off.
Still. it's a great mountaintop up there, with plenty of room for many people to have some lunch before heading back down. And once she was up there, The Day Hiker spent a bit of time making sure a couple sets of first-timers found both lookout points.
On the way back down, that longer-than .5 was, as always, not so painful.
Flat Top Mountain up and down from Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 83.1: 5.2 miles
Hike: August 12, 2013
It had been nearly 10 years since we did this walk. And as changeless as the forest is over that period of time, the beach can be altered a bit, as had happened along this stretch, owing to the installation of big, long, metal-encased concrete groins along the southern stretch of the walk, where on our last visit, the high-tide waves crashed into the homes-protecting wall, pretty much precluding walking the entire stretch at high tide.
These groins are so ambitious as to appear as a solid wall all the way to the intersection with the beach-parallelling wall as you approach them. Indeed, The Day Hiker, anxious to get back to the whole famdamily at our oceanfront big-house-for-the-week, spoke several times as we approached the first one:
"Well, I guess this is it; gotta turn around."
"Yep, Kurt, this is as far as we go."
I, silent, simply couldn't believe what our eyes showed: that the beach was indeed interrupted by the walls. And indeed, once you are completely upon the wall, you discover the around-the-corner small opening between the groin and a small section coming out from the shore wall--big enough to walk through, but not for much of anything else.
The groins, which have come under debate in South Carolina for their advisability (opponents say yes, they build sand to one side, but lose it to the other), seemed--at least comparing our visit a decade ago and this one--to have worked well, as the beach is now wide enough that there is no high-water threat even at high tide.
The way back on a beach walk is pretty much always the same distance/difficulty as they way there.
From Garden City Beach pier south on the shoreline to Main Creek inlet and back. 6 miles.
Hike: August 18, 2013
So, you get back from the beach on Saturday, and your father and a cousin and his wife are to arrive on Sunday, you're gonna have a hard time squeezing a hike in.
Which is our excuse for this easy, flat, restaurant-inclusive walk in our town.
And hey, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club schedules hikes along the river greenway too, you know.
Anyway, through the neighborhood, along the river, up the hill and into what until a few weeks back was Mirko Pasta. They've changed their name to Fresco Italian and gone even bigger on the portions . . . like half a dozen warm yeast rolls accompanied by both butter and herbed oil (as opposed to that semi-strange white-bean dip). Like a giant bowl of soup ("yep, that is the small.") Like enough grated parmesan to fill a can.
Deelicious, however, all of it. This despite the fact that the length of the walk came nowhere close to justifying the caloric intake from my side of the table.
The way back, through the Oak Hill neighborhood, was physically and psychologically significantly shorter than the way to all that food.
Home to Roanoke River Greenway to Franklin Road to Towers Shopping Center and home. 4 miles