Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stepping Out

Background: I have been itching (probably not the best word to use there, ha!) to get outdoors. I do not/have not ever considered myself an outdoorsy person. I guess, too, I have just never realized how easy it is to find a trail and go with it. After much consideration and a bit of convincing Hotty Scotty that I am serious about it (not to mention, picking a few well-versed-outdoorsy brains), we decided on the Bicentennial Greenway to begin. We wanted to take B and her stroller, so this paved trail was a great place to start.

This post is a (picture heavy) account of our first outdoor adventure! Enjoy.

When: April 14, 2013
Where: Bicentennial Greenway
     Starting at the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Rd., High Point, NC to East Fork Rd and back.
Miles Traveled: 2.83
Temperature: 77-80`F

Just follow me... and the signs...

Here is the Piedmont Environmental Center building:

The first two things you see on this trail are a great teepee and a small greenhouse. This is before you even get 25 yards into it.


As we  followed the path on into the green and away from Penny Road which runs along the first part of this section, we looked up...and we were under beautiful canopies of dogwoods and other flowering trees.   
Stunning. I always say, "No matter where you are, do not forget to look up."

We got to the half mile marker and came across what we dubbed the *love* tree. (real original, I know) Lots of folks have carved their initials into the trunk of this tree.


Looking to the left, we saw an unpaved section of trail. "No Bikes" was clearly marked. We stayed on the pavement, and on our feet. :)

More pretties along the way. The sides of the trail were sprinkled in tiny violets. These always remind me of my Mimi.

We came along the first couple of benches as we approached the 3/4 and 1 mile markers. One bench had a shelter that was a boy scout project.

We were greeted by a great set of steps... (the shot on down below, coming back is a good one...) The steps are even equipped with a bike groove.

As we got to the bottom of the steps and over a small bridge, we were seeing bits and pieces of High Point City Lake. How beautiful to look out to our right and see the sparkling water.


Three logs a' laying. :)

This shot is at the bottom of the steps and over the bridge. I was a few yards ahead and looking back at Scott and B.

With the lake still on our right, we continued our quiet walk down the path and we started hearing small splashes of water. We looked over and the turtles that were sunning on the logs were plopping back into the water. *plop*...*splash*...*plop*...B was thrilled to see and hear this! A little further down the path was another "foot path" that led right to the lake shore. A fallen log made for a perfect place to sit a spell.

One of several bridges along the Bicentennial Greenway...

Up ahead, a sign warned cyclists to dismount their bikes. This peaked my curiosity  especially when I saw a stop sign and a fence that you had to navigate through. Why?

It was a HUGE hill! Straight down! When we came back through, we saw one brave guy, on a bike, slip right through the offset fence and zoom down the hill - and it looked sooooo fun! I almost wished he had hollered "wheeeeeee!".

See how the fence is offset? Meant to be a deterrent, I am sure, but obviously not for everyone. :)


Have mercy. Pollen anyone? At the bottom of the steep hill was another bridge and the pollen was just swirling in the shallow water below.

Shortly after the hill and bridge, we hit the 1 1/4 mile marker.

Around the next bend, the road was very bumpy and rough. This is proof that if we (the human race) were to cease to exist, Mother Earth would heal herself. The tree roots are trying to take over this section of the trail.

Finally, we have reached our turn around point. East Fork Road is the first major intersection of the Greenway after leaving the Piedmont Environmental Center. If you continue on the trail, you will eventually end up on Wendover Avenue in Greensboro! This was definitely not the best shot of makeup, frumpy-but-oh-so-comfy clothes and no tan, but...we were excited to snap a shot of this accomplishment.

Alright, so by now, we have turned around and started back. The lake is now on our left. Here is another good shot of the tree roots taking over the pavement.

Honestly, since I am a total beginner, I have no idea what these types of trail markers mean. I intend to find out though!

This beauty fluttered by us before landing on a tree in full bloom.

Back to the bridge and just before the steep hill! B was enjoying getting a lift from the stroller at this point. She walked a big part of the trail. The birds, geese, butterflies, turtles and flowers kept her interested.

More pollen. Achoooooo!

Here it is! The steep hill. We knew going back up would not be fun. It was a workout! Scott jogged up and pushed the stroller. I took a different approach, I leaned into it and kept a steady, albeit slow pace. You can see the offset fence at the upper left of the picture.

Along the way, you will see chain link fence at various points. I am not sure how long it has been here, but I would imagine it has been quite a while. You can see how this tree grew through the fence. The bark has consumed bits of the metal fence.

A great shot of the lake and the Greenway trail.

This tree has been eaten up by something. Termites? Shotgun? No clue here, but the texture was pretty neat.

Coming back, we came upon a sign warning us of the steps ahead. B decided it was time to get back on her feet.

Super cool tree.

 Here is that great shot of the bridge, and then the steps that I promised you.
(it was harder now than it was coming down...)

(beautiful though, right?!)

Back at the top of the stairs, AND after carrying the stroller to the top...Hotty Scotty.

The love tree. <3

Another trail marker.

My well-worked feet :)      

Almost back where we started and still all smiles. It was starting to feel hot though and our legs were heavy.

We took up the offer from one of the benches...took a 10 minute break, drank some water, and then finished our walk.
                            B was still enjoying herself. And a fruit cup.

There's a fungus among us...

One of a handful of lightposts at the beginning of the trail.

Back where we started, there is the teepee.

A view of the parking lot as we finish our trek.

By the end, I was pretty red in the face and very hot and actually a bit sweaty, but ready to plan another adventure.


I will leave you with a couple of beautiful dogwood shots. These are two of my favorites from our walk. I hope you enjoyed following us on our first outdoor adventure.