Carolina Mountain Club always leads a New Year’s Day hike in the Green River Gamelands in Polk County. We go down to the Green River and come up in an eight-mile loop. It always looks the same on paper and it’s always different.
New Year’s Day was doe hunting day in Polk County. We knew that hunting season continued until January 1. But who knew that Polk County had a special “Doe a Deer” day all to itself?
We started up a road and found huge monster trucks parked as far in as they could go. We all wore orange. Once we got on the trail, we didn’t see any hunters, or anyone actually until we got close to the end of the hike.
The water was high but what struck us were the signs of spring. We found several purple violets and even a couple of rhododendron buds. Yes, it’s been warm. But buds on rhodies? This is not good. Yes, I’ve been enjoying the warm hiking weather but we’re going to pay for it in the spring with bugs and maybe fewer flowers.
The New Years Day hike just sets me up for the hiking year. I caught up with friends and their past travels and future plans. I saw some people that I’ve not seen since last New Years Day hike. And I get to take the “class picture” for Facebook.
As for New Year’s Resolutions. It’s difficult to have resolutions and goals beyond marketing my book and the National Park Service Centennial.
I’m planning my book tour for Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South. I want to tell the world, OK the Southeast, about all its wonderful national park units.
Want me to come to your hiking club, nature center, or historical society?