Monday, June 16, 2014

Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain AND The Monastery- PATH Trails!



  TRY THE TRAIL! That was the theme for this past Saturday, June 14th!  The PATH trail officially opened all the way to the Monastery!  If you have read my blog before, I have spoken of my love for the Monastery, for Arabia Mountain, and for Panola Mountain.  Now, the Path trails connect all three!  It is really a bike ride, but I can certainly walk large segments of it and you know that I have done so! On Saturday, I made it to the 8 am ceremony and ribbon cutting at the Monastery.  (I took the best photo of two monks standing beside one of the beefy bikers, but since I don't have their permission to show them, you will just have to take my word for it!)

There were all kinds of events planned for this new trail celebration.  There was a booth with the Extension Service telling us of  the top ten trees on the trail, and of course I had to make sure that I got to that one! (I will try to do a post on the trees by themselves: they deserve it.)   They had archery and kayaks at Lake Alexander at Panola State Park and I am happy to tell you that I spent over two hours at that lake and took advantage of both of those offerings! Hey! Who would guess that I could use a bow and arrow?  And I had never been inside a kayak in my life, but KAY CAN KAYAK!!

Before I did those two activities, I walked on the outcrop trail at Panola Mountain, and saw some more Fire pinks blooming!
 
I love this wildflower!
The early morning light on the trail was lovely.  I had this trail all to myself and I heard nothing but birdsong.
 
 
 
Part of the Rockdale River Trail has been opened for a while, I took these photos back in April.
 
 
This bridge crosses over the South River and is the longest bridge on any of the Path trails!
This is the view from the middle of the bridge. Now, you know why it is the Rockdale River Trail!
 
This bridge is part of the trail, it is over busy Highway 212.  As you walk the trail from the Monastery, you must cross over this highway.  I am grateful for this bridge! Do you have any idea how wonderful and unusual a pedestrian bridge is in this area?  It's like a miracle!
These were the arrows that I shot at the archery event!  Hey, I didn't get the bulls-eye every time, but I was very pleased with this!
 
Look at what was waiting near my car in the parking lot to say good day to me as I was leaving!
Hey, this guy was just like me...hanging out at Panola Mountain!
 
(Remember the snake that our friend Steve rescued back in November at Panola Mountain? Maybe this is the same one!)
 
 
 
The BEST part of this new trail, it leads to the peace and serenity of one of my favorite spots in the world, the Monastery right here in Rockdale County.
 
 

27 comments:

  1. Kay, your enthusiasm and love for the beautiful areas the trail goes through is really infectuous! It is what in England would be called "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (as some of the Yorkshire Dales are officially called, and given grants from government funds to better preserve that beauty).
    With all the activities you mentioned, I wonder if that Saturday did not have many more than just the usual 24 hours - but then again, you did start early!

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    1. This area is a "National Heritage Area". The following is from the Arabia Alliance website...
      "National Heritage Areas are places where history, cultural and natural wonders intersect with everyday places where people live and work. An NHA is a region that may cross state and county boundaries that has been recognized by Congress for its unique contribution to the nation’s history. NHA’s are guided by the National Park Service but they are run by local organizations and partnerships interested in promoting and preserving unique resources. In short, the NHA’s tell America’s story. The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is one of 49 around the country."

      It WAS a wonderful day, I just wish it could have been more than 24 hours!

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  2. That photo of the monastery is really amazing! It really captures the atmosphere. And I really love that strikingly RED wildflower. I'd want to take one and press it to keep forever. What a gorgeous area!

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    1. You would truly love the Monastery! And that red Fire pink just captures my heart!

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  3. And wow! Are you ever incredible at archery. I literally wouldn't be able to hit the side of a barn.

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    1. Ha! I suppose all those years of housework must have given me some good upper body strength! LOL.

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  4. I have a thing for monasteries. I'd love to visit your local one -- how beautiful it looks!

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    1. Hey Debra!
      How nice to see your comment here! I know you would love the Monastery, there is a peacefulness about the place that is undeniable.

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  5. Beautiful! And of course you can kayak -- you can hike long trails and are so active, i'm sure you can do many outdoors things you just haven't had time to try yet.

    Congratulations on the bull's eyes!

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm...maybe I CAN do more things than I think I can. One thing, I am not a great swimmer and am a bit afraid of the water because of it, so it was kind of a big thing for me to try the kayak, but hey, I did it!
      We all must aim for the bulls eye in life, even if we don't always make it!

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  6. Sounds like a great event and I know you'll be walking the trails over and over. Well done on the bulls eye - I've had a go at archery at fetes and it's great fun. x

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    1. Hey Julie!
      Yes! And you know that you will see the trails again, over and over and over...HA!
      I have fond memories of seeing the targets set up for archery at Michelham Priory near Polegate.

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  7. The Monastery looks like a beautiful place for a retreat. What sort of snake is it?

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    1. Yes, Graham, you are absolutely correct, the Monastery is well known for their retreats.
      The snake is a king snake. It is interesting, it will eat other snakes, even the poisonous ones, like the Copperhead. This snake is the same kind that I saw back in November at Panola Mountain, but that one, the stripes were not as visible, but it is the same type of snake, or I believe it to be so. I am NOT an expert on snakes! :-)

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  8. Kay, I loved all your pictures. That is going to be a nice trail. I have never seen or heard of that flower, it sure is pretty. Take care, xoxo,Susie

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    1. Thank you, Susie! It's just a wonderful thing, that now all the trails are all connected! And that pretty flower, such an intense color, just growing wild for all to see ! xx

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  9. What a fabulous trail! So inviting.
    I love those fire pinks, and the blue of the Monastery.

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    1. You would love the trail, I know you would!
      And the Monastery! You would never guess, but the walls are really made of white CONCRETE, that the monks made themselves! The windows are blue and purple and when the bright sun shines through, it give everything that lovely blue tinge. The front windows are yellow and orange, so the altar is always bathed in that wondrous golden light. Truly an awesome sight.

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  10. Kay can kayak AND shoot a straight arrow! What a lovely set of trails, and those fire pinks are really beautiful. :)

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  11. Hey Sue!
    And what is even funnier, my first name begins with "S", so I will put that name with the shooting part of the day! S. can shoot! HA!
    You would LOVE the trails, I think it would be a biker's paradise, especially if you like hills with lots of trees!

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  12. Wow this looks like an incredible trail. A nature lover's paradise that's for certain. I must add this place to my domestic bucket list Kay :)

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    1. These trails really are wonderful, but my heart will always be in climbing the local monadnocks here, Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain, they are not very big but walking on the ancient stone is amazing in itself, not to mention the fantastic wildflowers!
      Thanks very much for your comment!

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  13. Looks a lovely varied trail system and an asset to the area. Good to see a map of the district as well. Great snake photograph. I've not tried archery but I loved kayaking when I had one.

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