Trail: The Trombatore Trail, Gerton, NC
Distance: 5 miles, out-n-back
Elevation: 1,000 feet
Date Hiked: August 1, 2016
I hiked this trail earlier in the season when five miles seemed like a lot. But I wanted to circle back to this hike because it really is quite special.
In spite of the nettles.
The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has been quietly buying up land and putting in into conservation easements and we are the more fortunate for their work. In twenty years I've never hiked in this area. And now there are at least three hikes that are in the rotation and more to explore, thanks to the CMLC.
The Trombatore Trail takes you to an isolated old homestead at Blue Ridge Pastures with open land, views for miles and heirloom apple and peach trees dotting the periphery of the pasture.
There's even a fire ring and a bull ring, but no fires and no bulls today.
On the way up, I ran into a family out for some quality family time.
Except there were nettles growing three feet high.
And a little girl who was maybe four feet high.
And wearing nothing but shorts and a tank top.
And she was howling with pain. Pitching the fit to end all fits and the nettles stabbed and stung her all over her body.
So much for quality time.
She reminded me of myself when I was her age and I saw a snake on a trail in Colorado. I screamed like a character in a Stephen King film at a snake that was at least 30 feet away. That incident was embarrassing enough that I decided then and there to get over my fear of snakes.
Now I treasure the appearance of snakes in my life.
I find snakes fascinating, especially in light of the fact that, as a totem animal, they represent shedding an old persona and stepping into the skin of the next highest version of oneself. They herald both physical and emotional healing.
Anyway...pardon my Asheville woo.
I heard that little nettle girl screaming all the way back out to the parking area where she and her father disappeared after turning around and beating a hasty retreat.
So, yeah, nettles. No fun.
This location would be a great location for an overnighter on a full moon.
Just bring enough water because there is none on the trail.
And if it's just a quiet picnic in the soft grass with a glorious view of the oldest mountains in the world you want, this will do nicely.
Where have you gone lately? Feel free to share your favorite hikes in the comments below.