Thursday, March 8, 2012

Return to Bigfoot Country

It's not quite Boggy Creek, but Bigfoot has his own library back here.

Almost a year ago, I discovered what I call the Bigfoot Trail, just a few miles up the road, near Lake Townsend (The Great Blue Heron Nursery, Bigfoot's Library). There's a fairly new cache on the trail, so after work this afternoon, I hiked out there to claim it. A good couple of miles out and back, and apparently a new mountain biking trail is in the works out there. I have mixed feelings about it; it's a beautiful area, and really quite suited to a new trail. I'm generally glad to see new trails going in around the Greensboro watershed properties, especially since they're all so well-used. But since I started hiking out there, the Bigfoot Trail has been isolated and almost eerie. Its most notable feature—apart from being home to the Bigfeet I've yet to actually see—is a spectacular Great Blue Heron rookery. I doubt the birds will be overly disturbed by trail bikers, but the serene, nearly primal atmosphere will surely change. While I can't lay any claim on the land, I feel a personal connection to it, a sense of being one of a relative few who have ventured into that locale in the recent past. It's the somewhat disheartening sense of having to share a "secret" place with a much larger number of people.

Fortunately, the watershed trails generally are well-kept, with scarcely any human refuse left out along them. And when trash accumulates, the local geocachers get together and clean it all up. I do love the Greensboro trails.

Today, overt signs of human activity out there were few, but somewhat dramatic. For some time now, heavy military transport jets have been coming and going regularly from Piedmont Triad International airport, and this afternoon, a half dozen or more C-5 Galaxy transports passed low over the trail in the course of an hour. Majestic things...massive...seemingly hanging almost motionless in the sky as they approach. From several points along the trail, my view of them was unimpeded, and being a long-time aviation enthusiast, I really enjoyed the spectacle.

Judging from the very fresh footprints, horseback riders were out there today. There's a new parking lot—as yet unopened—for the trail, which made for a rather disconcerting sight. But it appears that Bigfeet can't be bothered to use it because, way back there in the woods, I found the Bigfoot Mobile. Looks like a 1940s-vintage automobile, all in pieces, so ancient that the woods have completely enveloped it. Clearly, Bigfoot can't drive.

Today's hike was an enjoyable, if somewhat wistful return to a place I'm very fond of. Whatever the "official" name of the biking trail turns out to be, to me, it will always be The Bigfoot Trail.

Click the images to enlarge.

A C-5 Galaxy on its approach to PTI. The sound shook the ground around me.

Obviously, Bigfoot got his driver's license from a Crackerjack box.

I had nothing to do with the wreckage...this time.
Great Blue Heron just looks down and laughs.


James Robert Smith said...

Wow! I've actually never seen a Blue heron nest! That's cool as hell!

Yeah, it ALWAYS sucks when the masses discover yer secret gardens.

Townsend that the lake across the street from where my sister used to live?

Stephen Mark Rainey said...

She was off Fleming Road, wasn't she? That was Lake Riggings, I expect. They're all part of the same chain.

Stephen Mark Rainey said...

Lake Higgins. F'ing autocorrect.