Terrapin Mountain Trail
Terrapin Mountain Trail/Reed Creek Trail loop. 9 miles.
We'd been trying to get back to this hike – done years ago and only vaguely remembered – for weeks, owing to Gail's hope to pass by the old homeplace of a friend/co-worker who grew up on the side of Terrapin Mountain, in Bedford County.
Alas, the little piece of paper with the directions to it were remembered only after some miles of driving into Bedford County, so we'll get to go back to this pesky down-up hike again sometime before too long.
Actually the walk starts up, for perhaps a quarter mile, to reach the summit of Terrapin Mountain before beginning a long, rocky, occasionally steep descent. At the end of the nearly three mile drop, the Terrapin Mountain Trail intersects with the Reed Creek Trail, and things get considerably easier; the trail makes its away gently along near the bottom of the mountain, curling its way around and into ravines on its way to Reed Creek.
We ate along one of the bends, in the semi-sunshine on a rock. (And found out, a day or so later, what we have had to relearn every daggone year in the woods: It gets to be April? And warm? You need to get the trusty ground cover out and sit on it for lunch, or else – come Sunday or Monday – you'll have these big ol' itchy welts on your backside. Duh.)
It was at the first crossing of Reed Creek, on this spring day when the water was spilling furiously over the rocks, that we had our adventure for the day. Gail and I had to walk upstream a good ways to find a set of rocks, boulders and logs that were close enough together to let us
hop across. But alas, puppy Cookie – seven and a half months old and a fine leaper on dry land – wanted no part of the last boulder-to-rock jump. And so we scouted farther up but to no avail, with the dog yelping more and more desperately with each passing, separated-from-momma moment. At last, back where the trail crosses on small rocks at lower water levels, The Greatest Puppy Helper took off her shoes to wade the dog across. Halfway, with the woman yelping from the cold and the dog from fright, Cookie wrestled her way out of her collar rather than go into water well onto her belly. The second try, with the collar tighter, was a success, and the little half-hour challenge was done.
The trail turns, a half mile or so up, across the stream again. And while we did have to scout a bit again, we soon found a crossing all three could readily make. From there, it was on up the rest of the mountain back to the starting point, on what is, despite its climb-at-the-wrong-time, a nifty walk.
April 11, 2009