Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hiking at Sugarloaf

 Yesterday was a nice day: cool and cloudy. Our temperatures have been running 15-20 degrees below normal for this time of year, and I don't remember a more pleasant June for doing things outdoors. Gregg only had to work a few hours early in the morning, and at 10am he texted me just before heading home and suggested a short day trip. I almost didn't agree to go, but I'm so glad I changed my mind, because we ended up having a good time.

We went to Sugarloaf Mountain in the Sand Hills State Forest, about 40 miles away from where we live. Calling it a "mountain" is a bit of a misnomer: if you read the link in the last sentence, you'll  see that it's really a 100 foot tall hill on what used to be a sand dune (eons ago). It's a bit of a geographical anomaly, and even though it's only 100 feet high it's kind of steep. You definitely feel that you've had a workout once you get to the top! Gregg and I hadn't been there in years. In addition to the "mountain" there's a lake, hiking trails, trails for horseback riding, camping areas, and a whole massive area of old pine forest that's being carefully managed by the state. There's even some rare species of plants and animals, including the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker, that make it their home. 

It's also very remote. You truly feel like you're in the middle of nowhere out there, and there's very little cell service. If you go at the right time, like yesterday afternoon, you'll likely see no other people at all. We had it all to ourselves! 

Of course I took plenty of pictures to show you all.


Climbing.....



Giant sandstone boulders dot the mountainside...


Made it to the top! 


Your blogger on top of a mountain (albeit a tiny mountain).


Descending...


Back by the pretty lake. A small dock has been added since the last time we visited.




Wild waterlilies bloomed all around the edges of the lake. So pretty!



These old stone and timber shelters were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps



41 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your outing!
    The things built by the CCC and the WPA were built to last, weren't they?
    You are very pretty, by the way.

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    Replies
    1. What a nice thing to say--thank you! Yes, we see the work of the CCC and WPA all the time when we visit state parks, trails, and natural areas. It was certainly built to last!

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  2. My Dad was in the CCC, he knew all the best places to camp , the camp sites were solid! Sugarloaf mountain is lovely, glad you went! You are also lovely, glad to see you! The thistles are one of my faves! up here they grow the size of a volkswagon and are treacherous if you stumble upon them, a no nonsense bit of flora!

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    1. There's some no-nonsense fauna out there, too. The Sand Hills are known for rattlesnakes and we had to be very, very careful traipsing through some of the wilder flora. :)

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  3. What a wonderful day for your both! I really enjoyed your pictures and also seeing those southern pine trees. That happy picture of you is so beautiful! I grew up in Arkansas and we had a lot of recreation areas built by the CCC and the WPA. They did build things to last.

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    1. If I look happy in that picture, it's because I was so relieved that the climb up wasn't too taxing for me! Haha. I was afraid it would be given how long it had been since I'd done it, and I was in much better physical shape back then! But it wasn't too bad.

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  4. What a lovely place and to have it all to yourself was a big bonus.

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    Replies
    1. Gregg remembers going on Cub Scout camping trips there as a little boy. We've already been talking about camping out there the next time there's a (cold weather) meteor shower. The air is so clear and clean and the sky would be totally void of any light pollution.

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  5. HELLO GORGEOUS! love the water lillies and the CCC shelters. I would not be able to make that climb; damn arthritis!

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    1. The water lilies were so beautiful! The lake was my favorite part, to be honest.

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  6. Those trails are some serious walking and climbing. Good for you.

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    1. I was pretty happy that it wasn't as taxing as I was afraid it might be! The exercise felt good.

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  7. So nice to see your Happy Face ! Loved the photos and huge boulders !
    parsnip

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    1. Those builders are huge! I don't think that comes across in the photos all that well.

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  8. Jennifer, I am so, so glad you went on that daytrip! Gregg knew just what the two of you needed. From the pictures and your description, it looks and sounds exactly like my kind of daytrip. And you look gorgeous as always, with your beautiful smile, perfect skin and nice hair.

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    1. I thought about you and O.K. several times that day, Meike. I think you would have loved it!

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  9. Sounds like a lovely day out. Thanks for sharing . You definitely look as if you are enjoying yourself ! Pouring with rain here this morning ( Harpenden...about 25 miles NW of London) Dog doesn't want to go out, but he must..needs to do his " business" !

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    1. "Business"? Is he an insurance broker?

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    2. My dog George hates going outside when it rains. We've had lots of rain this year too.

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  10. Replies
    1. It really was. The air was so clean up there! And the drive through the countryside to get there was pleasant, too. Lots of nice looking corn fields.

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  11. I loved your photos! Glad you had a good day. The weather here in central VA has been cool as well. One day this week it only got up to 68! I am sure the hot weather is right around the corner though.

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    1. We keep waiting for the heat to wallop us! I'm loving this cool, cool summer we've had so far, though, and I'm grateful for it.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your pictures Jennifer. You and Gregg should plan a few more day trips like that. By the way, who was that sexy guy down by the lakeside? I hope that Gregg doesn't get jealous!

    P.S. The smiley young lady on top of the mountain is not obese! Obese people couldn't even climb Sugarloaf Mountain! So there.

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    Replies
    1. Well, thanks Mr. Pudding!

      That sexy guy kept walking around the lake, peering down into the water. I wonder what he was looking for? ;)

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    2. I could be wrong but I am guessing fish though Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection.

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  13. What a great outing! I've never heard of Sugarloaf Mountain, but whether it's a "mountain" or not is all relative, isn't it? The highest peak in peninsular Florida is called "Iron Mountain," in Lake Wales, and it's not much of a mountain either. Thanks for the great photos and giving us a sense of the place.

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    1. Most people who live around here haven't heard of Sugarloaf Mountain, either. It's pretty remote and not at all well known, which is part of the charm of the place.

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  14. That looks like so much fun! nature at it's best.

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  15. I love these photos, each one a beautiful scene, and also to see your happy smile.

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  16. How lovely to go hiking! I am mad-jealous.

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