There were only two hours of sun on Sunday, but man, did our GetHiking! Sunday hikers ever take advantage. We hiked about 5 miles on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail upstream along the Eno River from Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve in Durham, taking in one of the best spring unveilings we’ve seen in years. We saw vast carpets of spring beauties, their little satellite petals of white and pink scanning the sky for sun. We saw the slightly larger rue-anenome, then their less-common cousin, the Dutchman’s breeches, a small hillside of them looking like clusters of pulled teeth (only stunning). There were violets, there were bluets, there were mayapples about to do their thing, there were trout lilies that already had.
As someone pointed out on Facebook earlier this week, this is the first time since November that a seven-day forecast has not included a chance of rain. Further, we’re looking at sunny days with temperatures in the 50s for the weekend, rising into the low 70s by the end of next week. Thus, you are obligated to get out. And we are obligated to help you.
The winter sky is dry and clear, the temperature cold, invigorating. It’s the perfect weather for a long mountain hike. Then, your car loaded with gear and enthusiasm, you find your travels and day-hike dreams shattered by those two little words on a barricade baring access to the trailhead:
Another mostly sunny weekend with daytime highs in the low 50s.
In other words, another weekend where you might be hard-pressed to find a trail that isn’t swamped with hikers. And, as a result, another GetOut! column in which we try to point you in the direction of trails less likely to attract the masses.
On Thursday, we wrote of our forgotten trails, the trails that we once hiked regularly, the trails we dreamt of hiking when hiking was in our dreams. And then, for some reason, we stopped hiking them. Can’t really remember why, either.