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On November 2nd, a couple of friends and myself took a hike at the 24/27 trailhead. It was a cold morning and the opening day of muzzleloader season, so there were a lot of vehicles parked on the side of the road on public land where hunters were eager to find a deer. We wore our orange so as to be seen, although hunters are supposed to keep a safe distance away from trails also.

 

We hiked on the mountain bike trails until you get to Wood Run Trailhead, then you hike a short way further on the Keyawee Trail before tying into the Uwharrie Trail. After hiking on it for a while, you’ll cut back onto Wood Run Road and take it back to the Wood Run Trailhead. Then we retraced our steps on the mountain bike trails back to 24/27. This is about 5 miles round trip. It was a great morning hike and we only saw a handful of mountain bikers so we almost had the trails to ourselves.

 

Last Friday, I hiked with several friends on the Uwharrie Trail from Highway 109 to Spencer Creek and back. I’ve done this hike a lot, but this was the first time for two of my friends to see this section of trail. It’s a nice section to do because there’s not too much topography, just a couple of small hills to climb on the way back. The fall color was really nice, and we’d had some rain the night before so there were also a good amount of brightly colored leaves carpeting the forest floor.

 

I was off on Monday for the Veterans Day Holiday, and it was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect so I decided to take the opportunity to paddle, probably the last time for this year. A friend and myself put in at the Pekin access on the Little River at 2382 Pekin Road, just south of Troy. We paddled south on the river this time, towards the dam.

 

On our paddle, we saw a beaver lodge and a lot of wood duck boxes that had been installed along the river. There were even a few turtles out. When we stopped down near the dam, a bald eagle appeared and circled over us several times. There were several people working on the dam, which explained why the water was pretty low. They had pumped a lot of concrete on the western side and were working on the eastern side when we arrived. This dam still generates hydroelectric power.

 

On the way back, the water got really still and looked almost like glass. Then the breeze started up and pushed us much of the way back. We saw a monarch butterfly, one of only a few I’ve seen this year. There are quite a few really nice sycamore trees along this stretch, and the wind blowing through the leaves made for a pleasant sight and sound. I’ll miss kayaking now until the springtime, but it makes it mean that much more when I get to go again.

 

There’ll still be plenty of opportunities to hike and otherwise enjoy the outdoors this winter, too. I encourage you to find your own way to enjoy the outdoors, no matter the time of year. A friend of mine told me the other day that she was trying to spend more time being still. Taking time to be present in the moment is something nature offers us – there’s much to see and hear if you only take the time to stop and listen.