Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Percy Priest Rock Hopping

Yesterday, C and I headed to Long Hunter State Park to hike a portion of the Bryant Grove Trail. We planned to cover about a mile, turn around, and head back. However, with the warm sun shining on the winter-pool rocks along the lake's shoreline, we were enticed off trail and out toward the water, where we rock-hopped our way around part of Percy Priest Lake. Exploring the rocks was a lot of fun, and we found all manner of interesting things. C happened on a number of crawfish claws, presumably left by an animal that ate the other parts. We also began to notice all the fossils imprinted on the rocks—everything from moss to leaves to something that looked like a fish skeleton. And over the course of our rocky rambles, we found three nice fishing lures which I'll restore and use myself.

With my supervision, C had fun practicing his knife skills on some cedar limbs we scrounged. He's beginning to develop better touch and actually made a good fuzz stick that would work for fire building. He also brought along a Bionicle of his own creation that he named "Toa Krush," and we took a few action shots for the Lego Club website. The evening outing was a good time of hiking, exploring, playing, and talking. C said to me at one point, "Papa, this is a lot better than watching TV." Amen, son. Mission accomplished.

Percy Priest Shoreline at Long Hunter

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Percy Priest Island Camp

C and I hit Percy Priest for some camping yesterday evening. We got a late start, arriving at Long Hunter State Park as the sun was going down, and we still had to paddle about a half-mile to get to our spot. The Corps of Engineers campsites around the lake are seasonal, but the primitive camping on the islands is open year-round on a first-come, first-serve basis. So with temps in the mid-70s on Saturday and only a low of 50 expected at night, we made a go of it, twilight canoeing and all. We had a simple camp with just a two-man backpacking tent and a fire. Dinner consisted of some Mountain House boil-and-stir, and dessert was all about the roasted marshmallows. We both slept like rocks and then rose early to pack up camp and explore the island. Light rain, however, convinced us to cut short our exploratory hike. Of course, by the time we loaded the canoe and paddled back to the boat launch, the rain had stopped. We chalked it up to fickle March weather and headed home.

Percy Priest Island Hike