The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2005!

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Re-evaluating my situation:
When I reached the top of this escarpment cliff, I was pretty pleased. I figured I had to be getting close to my destination. This bald was dry, so no pitcher plants, but it was absolutely spectacular nonetheless. The dissipated trail was marked only by an occasional rock cairn.

At this point, I calculated I was a little behind in time, but if I truncated my photography time slightly, and ran, I mean really ran on the return trip, I should still make it to the car right when the light left.

He told me: "Just don't let The Dark catch you!"

So I will admit something embarrassing. When you're hiking alone in unfamiliar places, your mind can play tricks on you. (Especially if you have a mind like mine.) When I was talking to that old man with the dog, I kept conjuring the dozens of parables I've heard that go like this: "A traveler met an old man and his dog, and was very rude to them....a second traveler was very nice to the old man and the dog, and offered them both turned out the old man was really a disguised spirit..."

You know the kind of story. It was just eerie that on the same hike where I was planning on getting back to my car in twilight, that this rustic and talkative Appalachian Avatar appeared with informative stories on how to survive the night if I got lost or hurt. How did I fit into the parable? Was I the polite traveller or the rude one? I thought I had been very polite...perhaps I would survive the night without my nose turned into a turnip.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005