RA Overnight to Bent Tree
April 18-19, 2008
With the weather having finally taken a turn for the better, we gathered at our standard picture spot at the top of Buckskull Court as we started out for a walk up Chestnut Cove.
We started walking up Chestnut Cove Trail just below the house. The new leaves were so green they almost glowed.
It was neat to walk at just the beginning of spring here. These mayapple plants will soon carpet the forest. At right you can see where the lower trees have leafed out while those higher on the mountain have yet to emerge. We enjoyed the abundant wildflowers.
The kids having run on ahead on the return, Javier, Maria, Francisco and I had a leisurely walk back down to the house. Francisco was interested in the bloodroot plant, so I dug up a root and gave him the knife to cut it up. I had told them about the Cherokees using it as a red dye for baskets and such.
We loaded up at the house to go to the beach for lunch and encountered this doe with twin fauns on the main road toward the lake. From the age of the fauns, I think it is a good chance that these are same deer that we saw last Labor Day near the gate. We caused a sizable "deer jam" stopping to take pictures of them.
Nearing the lake with me driving the church van and Johnny behind, we encountered this fine doe grazing right behind the road. She didn't seem in the least bothered by our presence - just curious. I was feeling bad about creating another deer jam for the two cars that were following us, but Johnny said they were still stopped taking pictures when he topped the following hill, so they were just waiting their turn.
We had our traditional RA lunch of gourmet peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches at he picnic table beside the spillway.
It was a pleasant place for lunch with the falls right beside us and the view above of the stream and mountains. It was good to see the spillway stream running full again with the rains we have had.
The boys were excited to see these four horseback riders come up and across the stream. Horseback rides are available from the Bent Tree stables just up the road.
The boys had a little time to play around the stream before we loaded them up in the van for the return.
The final stop on our trip was for our traditional picture on the Bent Tree dam, LR, Wayne Tyson with Corey in front of him, Angel beside him and Johnny Huffman behind. Next is Kevin Lopez with Javier Lopez, Luis is next in back, then Francisco Nava and son Paco in front. At right is Maria with Christian Luna in front.