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A-hiking we will go - over North Mountain

Tags: Life on Marble Mountain
The day of the hike over Marble Mountain to the fire hall at Valley Mills finally arrived today. We've been talking about doing this with Michaelette for over a year. In the course of that year the number of interested folks and dogs has grown greatly.

Thirteen people and seven dogs hiked over the mountain, starting at the top at the fire tower. We followed the ATV trail across the top of the mountain, through the bog, over the little, red, endangered, man-eating pitcher plants (their jaws unhinge to fit in humans), across the streams, around the springs that fill up puddles in the middle of the path, and down the other side to Valley Mills. We made great time for the number of participants, completing the hike in only 1 hour, 23 minutes. That includes interludes to view Kodak spots and snap pix on all the cameras, all 5 of them.

The group consisted of the usual bunch and a few newcomers: Tom & Jean McCann, George & Caroline Chant, Gary & Mary Dunbrack, Michaelette Barrington, Fiona and Dave Dauphinee, Lynn & Carl Zimmerman, Ed & Suzy Burke and Kit & myself. The dog pack consisted of the usual bunch plus a few newcomers: Clancy McCann, Ceilidh Dauphinee, Zak Davis, Flyn Davis, Lily Davis, Bailey Burke and Katy Johnson. With all those canines along for the hike, we didn't have any fear of coming upon coyotes, bears or bobcats. The dogs hit every water hole, especially the deep & muddy ones. All arrived safely back home in Marble Mountain, worn, muddy, very, very happy and ready for a nap.

The hike was 2.66 miles or 4.5 kilometers. There is no shortage of documentation of our foray across the mountain. We plan to do it again in November after the leaves have fallen and also on Christmas Day. That would be a good time to do the Christmas bird count.

We can see that there has been much atv activity up the mountain road. Tom said he saw 6 of them going up the mountain last Sunday. They atv's keep the path open but at a price to the environment. They create deep ruts in the road, create puddles where there should be earth a good foot higher and they run over the fragile mountaintop bog, destroying flora, like rare pitcher plants, that is not easily replaced. Every pro has a con and keeping the mountain road open is no exception.

To celebrate finally accomplishing the walk across the mountain road, there will be a bash at the McCann's home this evening. Rest assured that there will be plenty of food, lots of home made wine, rum, tea, storytelling, maybe a game of Sequence and possibility a country square set or two.