Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hikes and Yikes!

Lover's Leap is an outcropping of magnificent rocks right outside Cumberland. We can walk right from our house, through some neighborhoods then up a very steep hill to this site. We did this with 8 other friends recently. This view is looking back to where we had just hiked, the trail is in the woods at the edge of the cliffs.

We happened to hit the timing just right as the scenic steam train was taking is picturesque route to Frostburg. Here it's going through the Narrow's Bridge.

And this is looking back towards the city of Cumberland. You can see why this is called 'The Narrow's".

Near the top of this Will's Mountain and on the way to the cliffs is this old plastic factory which I believe was built in the 50's. It has some space-agey decorations on the outside.

Our son, Garrett and his girlfriend, Sara.

Meg is looking out over the valley, eating the amazing lunch we all brought up. Wine, cucumber sandwiches, cheese, fruit, cookies, chocolate, ahhhhh!

After we were totally filled with our fine food, we took off along the trail back down the mountain. Doug took this amazing photo of a vulture that was riding the wind. We continued leisurely walking down the trail. Garrett, Sara and I were in the lead, talking and having a good old time. Suddenly, something sort of jumped right in front of us and made this rattling noise. We at first thought it was a cicada, but soon realized it was a big ol rattler! Well, I of course, screamed like girl, as did Sara and even Garrett, and we turned and bolted so fast outta there that I ran into Doug who was closely behind us on the trail. Now Doug is a big guy and I flat out knocked him to the ground! I didn't even see him except when he was goin down and then I saw this shocked look on his face. I yelled, "Sorry Doug!" (I think I did anyway) and kept going a bit further till I was sure I was out of striking range. The others had caught up by this time and thought we had seen a bear. I wish! But Mr. Snake (or Ms., I can't tell, nor do I care) slowly slithered just off the trail but then coiled right up next it so we couldn't pass. It continued to warn us not to come near (duh!) by rattling. It stayed that way for a few minutes and when it figured out we posed no threat it SLOWLY moved into the woods. Luckily I hadn't ruined Doug's camera and he got some shots of it.

So, note to self. Watch where I'm stepping! Oh, and as I was biking around the mountain the other day, I saw ANOTHER big rattler lying across the road. I was on my bike though and able to whiz right by. Yikes! I'm tired of seeing snakes, especially deadly ones. This is just their busy time of year though, getting ready to bed down for the winter. Guess I'd be out catching some rays too for the long winter ahead.

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