44℉ at 5:00, high of 57, windy
Monday, October 24, 2016
We walked the Kilburn Loop Trail in Pisgah State Park. It is a 6.2 mile hike through beautiful forests of Hemlocks and Beach trees. You pass Kilburn pond, which is very pretty. it took us about 3 1/2 hours with a stop for lunch. No bears, no moose, no ducks, no deer. The wind was blowing pretty hard, but we couldn’t feel it much on the forest floor. The trees, however, were talking, rubbing against each other as they moved with the wind. It’s pretty cool the different sounds they can make. It would be eerie if you were camping on Halloween night!
We hadn’t hiked for two days, so it felt good to get out. By the end of the last uphill climb of .7mi, we were tired. We drove back down to the Connecticut River to investigate the bike trail along the river. We walked on a side trail that goes out through a marsh. It was lined with 10-foot bushes loaded with berries of several sorts. Tons of little birds were stocking up for the winter. A photographer passed us, complaining the little birds wouldn’t sit still long enough for him to get any pictures. They are no doubt tough to catch. The strategy might be just to sit down and wait for them to come to you. There were several beaver huts, but this beautiful area was strangely devoid of any ducks or geese. I haven’t seen a flight of geese or ducks at any time along the Connecticut.
Back at Hinsdale Campground, Martha did the laundry while I cleaned out the cook box that had gotten wet with the snow and rain. It is a toolbox I set on its side for better access, but that means the lid doesn’t prevent water from getting in. The bikes and the cook box are covered with a tarp, but the heavy snow was too much for it. Sagging with the weight, it allowed water to get in along the sides. I had everything spread out all over the place when Dave (who works the camp) came by. He looked the place over strangely, and I wondered if I had violated some code. He asked if Martha was doing laundry and if I had my water connected. Then I asked him what was up. There was going to be a freeze tonight and he was going around cutting off the water so the pipes don’t freeze. The campground closes this weekend, and this seems to be the determining factor for closing – freezing pipes. I’m not sure how old Dave is, but we got to talking about the area and his growing up here, fishing the pond where we had hiked. It was hard to get all the facts right as he talked. I didn’t want to stop him because the stories were good. A very nice gentleman, and obviously smart, I wondered why he worked the campground as the manager came up. They went over to several campsites turning water off. When he came back, he continued. He works about half the time for pay and half as a volunteer. He said he would go crazy if he sat at home all the time. He and his wife had sold their house, bought a big camper and went on the road for 10 years, thus his great knowledge about campgrounds. “Oh, I’ve been to Virginia many times”. Nova Scotia was one of his favorites. He worked for the State, the Federal government and different companies that dealt with hazardous waste – mostly cell phones. When ownership of his plant changed hands, they always wrote in the contract that Dave had to stay. Government regulations hold people like Dave responsible forever if something goes wrong with the hazardous waste. He talked about being retired and on the road, when the company called him to help solve a problem, so he came back for a month to solve the issues. I was enjoying his great stories, but he had to go cut water off and I was getting the evil eye from the laundry lady. Dave was pleased when I gave him a coffee cup. I hope he is still here should we pass through again.