We took a leisurely hike out Rocky Ridge Trail to the medium rock outcropping. There we scrambled on the rocks and picked plenty of blueberries on the way back.
My dad had envisioned this as a short half day hike, but we filled it with activities and spent all day. My parents’ house is in Timberline on the top band of roads on Cabin Mountain. To get to the trail head, we hike 0.3 miles up the gravel roads. Then the trail climbs steeply up the last little bit to the ridge. It was windy up top, so I pulled out Isaac’s kite. It collapsed and fell a few times launching it, but then it soared up and hung steady high in the sky.
From there we followed Rocky Ridge Trail north along the Cabin Mountain ridge. We passed plenty of other people hiking up the hill. Long ago, when I was a kid, we labeled all the major rock outcroppings. The shale like block near the road was the “little rocks”. The jumble of weathered sandstone blocks a knoll north was the “medium rocks”. And Seneca Rocks, a 30 minute drive away, were the “big rocks”. Today, we were headed to the medium rocks.
Close to the road, blackberries have grown up, obscuring the Dolly Sods flora I remember. But once we turned uphill from Dobbin Grade, we were back into open meadows of hay scented fern, low blueberry bushes, and amber grass. We found sundew in the sphagnum moss. I spotted a small fly trapped in the sundew’s sticky coating. Every time it pulled a leg away, a filament of goo pulled it back.
We parked for lunch on the sandstone ledges next to the best rock climbing in the medium rocks. Then we scrambled up some of the smaller sections. Isaac wanted to explore closer to the edges than any of us adults liked. So, in compromise, I found a deep erosion crack big enough to climb down into. Isaac giggled to see Mom deep under the rocks. Then I helped him clamber down and he giggled even more. After that, we declared it was time to head back.
We spotted a patch of blueberries and picked and picked until we had filled the lunch containers. 10 cups of yummy wild blueberries. At that point all the adults were ready to head back home. Isaac wasn’t.
We found the trapped fly in the sundew. It had ceased struggling. The sundew was now curled around it, digesting.
Back up on the ridge, we flew the kite again. Isaac let the string out long, hoping the kite would touch the clouds. No such luck. In fact, the wind seemed softer up high than near the ground. Finally, we hiked out around the small rocks and down the gravel road. Maybe 4 miles total.