Today is a beautiful day here in central NC. Carolina blue skies, 70 degrees, and a fresh breeze. Jan and I finished breakfast, loaded the dogs into the truck, and left the high schooler slumbering in bed (after a late night return from a Marching Band competition). We drove about a dozen miles to Eno River State Park. The dogs (both chocolate labs) were quite excited. Anakin, the 10-year old, has been to Eno many times and knew exactly where he was. Lessa, who is only 7 months, is always excited ;-). We left the truck at 10AM, and walked in over the swinging bridge across the river and headed up the Cox Mountain Trail. This is just about as close to hiking in the mountains as you’ll find in piedmont NC…Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough is also pretty, but not as nice a walk, as it’s not as remote or long a trail as Cox Mountain (about a 5 mile loop). Up and over the steep part of the mountain, and we headed down to the little ravine where there’s a wet-weather rivulet that runs into the river. Lessa caught the scent of water and ran ahead to find a small pool and splash around. We headed down the trail to the river, running low as we’re in a moderate drought here now. The dogs love the water, especially Lessa, who jumped into the river from the bank about 4 feet up, without worrying about how she’d get back out. She will fetch sticks until she drops. You know the old adage about age and cunning beating youth and strength? Well, I’d throw a big stick into the water, and Lessa would swim across the river to get it (about 50-60 feet) and Anakin would catch up with her coming across, and grab the stick and the two would then swim back with it together, sometimes one ending up with it and sometimes the other.
It’s a small world sometimes, and as we were throwing sticks, we saw a friend from Scouts, whose sons have graduated from my troop . Had a nice conversation, as he was recount the joys of now having sent both his kids out of the house and off to college, etc. It seems that the week after the last one left, he and his wife headed to Australia for a month.
Hiked back away from the river, and Lessa was whining to get back to the water. We thought we’d let her play under the bridge for a while on the way out, but it was noon now, and there were far too many folks and other dogs in the park for that.
If you go to Eno, be sure to walk away from the parking lot a bit. There are several trails where you’ll only see a handful of folks.
Back home now, sipping a bit of Moscato on the patio. A nice way to spend an autumn day.