Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hikes: Pearl-less at Birmingham's Oak Mountain

And that's just the beginning of my lack of preparedness for this hike.  This past weekend, I had a meeting in Birmingham, AL.  Our meeting plan was to wrap up a report, put a bow on it, and deliver it to the client.  In addition to getting our lesson out, we also reserved some time for health and wellness activities.  Our Sunday plan was noble: hike at 7:30 a.m., Bikram at 9:30 a.m., brunch, and then finish anything we had not finished on Saturday.  Well our plan changed.  Sometimes you might find me in my office at 8 p.m. when I'm report writing because when the words start to flow, you let them flow.  The words were flowing on Sunday morning so we did not hike early.  Instead, we started the health and wellness portion of the meeting with Bikram.  The set of good sweat wicking clothing I had packed was soaked post-Bikram with no chance of drying even though we would be sitting down for a brunch of
When I asked for a wing/thigh mix the lovely people at Birmingham's Seafood and Chicken Box brought me three wings and two thighs.  Who can eat all that? Then I remembered I would be food-less on Delta all evening.  If you were in the Birmingham airport Sunday evening, the woman attempting to eat cold fried chicken gracefully from her lap at the deserted American counter was me.

The clothes I had to change into were all cotton, including the tank I ran in to Super K to buy.  This all cotton thing becomes immensely important when you're starting a hike in June, in the South, at 1:30 p.m.  On to the hike.  We headed out to Oak Mountain and soaked our ankles and wrists with Deep Woods Off.
Loved the hiking style of our new outdoors buddy on the right.  The socks kept the bugs out and shocked the snakes into slithering away.  The lady on the right who was all to eager to spray folks with chemicals is my colleague and fellow outdoorsmanaslongasahotelisnearby.
Our hiking plan was simple, as we only had an hour or so.  We would start together and then they would do an in and out on the Shackleford Point Trail (white) from the North Trailhead to Maggies Glen.
White trail on the right and yellow trail on the left!
I would take the Foothills Trail (yellow) to Maggies Glen and then join them on the return trip to the trailhead.  The distance to Maggies Glen on the yellow trail is shorter but I had a bit of elevation to contend with so theoretically we should have gotten there around the same time.

I enjoyed my time on the yellow trail.  The trail is narrow and there are a few nice uphill portions.  I wanted a bit of a challenge because I seemed to have forgotten that my daily physical challenge was done after Bikram...  Good light comes through the trees because it is on a ridge of sorts.  Well the light was great for photographs and meditation but not for the over-heated hiker dressed in cotton on a Sunday afternoon.  I was hot and no amount of water was going to fix that.
My only complaint was that the blazes needed to be re-painted.  They were very difficult to see.  I get that blazes on trees are a low priority in the state budget when other costs are ballooning but it was still annoying,
This is one of the better ones and I was right up on the tree before I saw it.
We met at Maggies Glen and headed back. 
Note the lack of pearls anywhere on my body.
The first time I went to Oak Mountain there were a few trees that had recently fallen.  We had to climb over those trees.  They've solved that issue since then.

All in all it was a great walk in the woods and I'm happy the heat didn't discourage our newest hiking buddy.  Until next time y'all.


  1. Hi sister!

    I'm enjoying your blog. You're your mother's child. She always travels with a meal in her purse...and utensils that she's collected. Sometimes even condiments. No comment about you hiking alone on a part of the trail. I don't feel safe to do that in CT. Maybe I'll start a blog..."Adventures of a southerner in rural New England." So much to say.

  2. I know the people referenced in this hike. I find it odd that the author failed to mention the stylistic flair of bug spraying member of the pact. I believe that there was some long sleeved grey cotton shirt-hate going on….. especially since her hat matched her pants.

  3. I'm sure you weren't the only person eating chicken from their purse. Take it from a native, that scene is all too common at the Birmingham airport.

  4. No Cotton Clothing!!! :) (said like Joan Crawford in "Mommy Dearest" just like the wire hangers) hee hee! :)

  5. Hike sounds wonderful. Who knew AL has mountains :)