February 10, 1999

A Curious Circle

With Cliff in my truck. Cloudy down low, clear up high. Fairly warm, not parka weather. Put Sorrels on up high cause of snow on ground.

Roads: 224 - 4630 - 4635/120

Went up past Forest Service work camp to abandoned bridge. Rotten timbers. Through the snow could see holes. Long fall to rocks in creek. Steep hillside, water moving right along. Walked up to the end of 120 road. It was a long mile. Lots of big logs fallen from steep hillside. Lying at big angles across road. Scrambled across them.

Cliff saw coyote cross road. His knee was hurting him bad. Enough hiking for today.

Behind one log, on road, Cliff found a very curious circle of stones. It was like a child had transported the stones to the road and had sat and played in a circle. No apparent natural explanation. The circle was definitely not made from stones rolling off the hillside. Not really a place for a family hike. Didn't see any human waste along the way, but where the sun didn't hit too good the way had a foot of snow on it. Upside of road past the bridge had what maybe was old growth, it was big. Too damn steep to crawl up and really check it out. Lower side and all to the bridge on both sides was reprod in various stages of growth. Probably last logging was below the road about 20 (?) years ago.

Tried to get up road to top of flat area above Three Lynx or north side of Mt. Mitchell. Beautiful views, wonderful rock scree areas and just exposed rock. Road built right through one scree. Amazing the rocks in it didn't roll out on road. Snow turned us back up by north bound turn.

Another day of talk and plans. Cliff is a good fellow. Its great to get him to laugh, that old gray-black short beard of his just shakes. Plus, he makes a fine boiled egg for lunch. Today, I bought us deluxe deli sandwiches from Zupan's. Went down early to get them. Braunswauger (sp.) and roast beef. We ate the Braunswauger on the way up. Good with coffee. Full of sprouts and lettuce and stuff.

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