• 63°

First-day hiker treks to Pilot Mountain

By Russ Stevens

Another year. Another first day hike.

Having lived in “the Bury” for eight years, I have taken 4 first day hikes — where free, guided hikes of state parks are offered on New Year’s Day. That gives me a .500 hiking average. Since the top 2019 baseball batting average was .329, I think I’m doing OK.

Each of my hikes have been at a different park, and each has its own charm. This one’s major charm was the view. The prior year’s destination, Lake Norman State Park, had interesting flora and environment around the lake. Before that, Eno River State Park had a huge number of people and a wonderfully rushing river. And before that, Morrow Mountain was a long, rigorous hike. All have been a blast.

This year’s hike at Pilot Mountain was not overcrowded; there were probably 40 people. Our ranger was Matt Windsor, the park superintendent. He led us on a moderate hike, with some ups and downs, but the views were worth the effort.

From one of our stopping points, we could barely see Dunn’s Mountain in Rowan County. Visibility was clear, but picking out the not particularly large Dunn’s Mountain from about 50 miles away was iffy. On a really clear day, Matt said, you can see more than 75 miles.

All during the hike, dozens of turkey vultures were circling. Maybe they were waiting for one of us to not make it.

The treat was when a pair of ravens (who nest there) did aerial acrobatics for us. Ravens are fast flyers and gave us quite a show. And, oh, I almost forgot to mention that there were a couple of llamas at the trailhead available for picture taking.

It was a wonderfully sunny day, but it was also cold. The ranger gave out some light duty headbands, for which I was grateful. It kept my ears from freezing off in the breeze at over 2,000 feet of elevation.

Overall, this was a great hike, and I would recommend that others come out and enjoy nature as we look forward into the New Year. See the beauty that is out there for us to enjoy.

Russ Stevens lives in Salisbury, bikes when he can, hikes when he can and sings in the Salisbury-Rowan Choral Society.

Comments

Local

Rowan Helping Ministries preparing to reopen clothing assistance as temperatures drop

Business

Local retailers looking to holiday shopping for boost in business

Coronavirus

Virus numbers could be erratic after Thanksgiving

Elections

Appeals court rejects Trump challenge of Pennsylvania race

Coronavirus

52 COVID-19 cases added Friday after week with highest, fourth-highest increases

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with stealing boat, $10,000 in auto parts

Education

RSS superintendent hiring process continues

Business

We want to hear from readers: How are you planning to do your holiday shopping?

Local

‘Whoever we feed is a blessing:’ Providence Baptist Church distributes free meals on Thanksgiving

Local

Spencer to receive $750,000 CDBG grant for home repair

Elections

For Rowan, 2020 general election turnout statistics mostly mirror 2016

Crime

Blotter: Nov. 26

Coronavirus

County sets record for most COVID-19 positives reported in one day

News

From poult to Thanksgiving centerpiece, Evans Family Farm knows how to raise turkeys

Education

Catawba, Livingstone not bringing students back until after the holidays

Education

‘Just because’: Partners in Learning surprises staff with $15,000 in bonuses, turkeys

Local

Few applications received for state’s child care, remote learning assistance grant

Local

Girls Scouts pack meals for Meals on Wheels Rowan

Education

RCCC offering solutions for students wanting to jumpstart their college education

Education

PetSmart donation to Essie Mae Kiser Foxx

Crime

Salisbury Police ready to roll out regional crime center before end of the year

Education

Shoutouts: North Hills Christian School announces homecoming king and queen

Local

‘An icon of China Grove:’ Former China Grove Elementary students remember custodian Carl Wilkerson

College

Catawba basketball: The struggle to play the games