Wednesday was an 'enjoying my time off' kind of day (but I also handled a huge move-related task which I'll talk about next week) as I went hiking at South Mountain State Park. Shortly before I moved to Charlotte, a coworker who had lived here for 18 months gave me a list of hikes to check out. But a week after I arrived here, I found out about my stress fracture and was not able to do much of anything. But I held onto that scratched out list of hikes - just in case. And luckily I am getting a chance to do some of them! I started with the South Mountain hike because it was only 80-90 minutes from Charlotte so a very easy day trip for me.
The night before the hike, I was video chatting with my sister and told her how I was going hiking the next day. She said - 'by yourself?' and I said of course. She then asked if we had rattle snakes or other snakes in NC as that is something she has fears of encountering while hiking on her own and I was very dismissive and said, 'nah, I have never seen any on my other hikes.'
So imagine my anxiety when the first thing I see at the trail head is a sign warning hikers about the presence of rattle and copper head snakes. #cuepanicattack
|I am deathly afraid of snakes. I couldn't even bring myself to read what the small print of this sign said because the pictures TERRIFIED ME.|
But I gave myself a little pep talk and told myself that snakes would hear me and stay away. I did a lot of random clapping and a little bit of singing to try to make all the snakes aware of my presence. I didn't see any snakes, thank God, so I guess it worked (and made me look like a crazy lady probably).
The views along the trail were gorgeous and worth all the snake-anxiety. I did 2 different trails - the first led to a waterfall and the views along the way were gorgeous.
|Proof that I actually did this hike and did not steal these photos from the internet|
I tried to stop along the way as much as possible to soak in all the beauty. Chances are I will never come back to this park so I took a lot of photos to capture this experience!
After completing the popular waterfalls hike, I did a more strenuous hike to a lookout area. The terrain of this hike was more rough and steep, but the view at the end was worth it!!
I got to that look out point around lunch and ended up arriving there at the same time as this small group of 5 people who were all retired. I sat down and ate the lunch I had packed and had a really good time conversing with them. They gave me recommendations for other hikes to do in the area and we talked about things like the books Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It was nice to have some social interaction. But then they told me about a 5 foot long rattle snake they saw on a hike they did last spring and I almost had to plug my ears. One of the women wanted to show me a picture but I managed to avoid having to look at photos of this monstrous snake.
After that I headed back down the trail to my car as I had to get back Charlotte to attend to some business related to my move... I'll share the details of that with you next week!
Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm going to the National Whitewater Center tomorrow - not to white water raft (not my thing) but instead to do some of their ropes courses and zip lines with a former coworker. It's another thing on my Charlotte bucket list!
Are you afraid of snakes? I'm irrationally terrified of them. I know this makes me a bit of a wimp but I am OK with that. I basically can't handle any creatures like snakes, spiders, mice, rats, you name it.