Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Wasilik Poplar Tree, Our Hike & Picnic, Part 1

Today we joined our friends Dick & Ursula to hike to the Wasilik Poplar tree, the second largest tree of it's kind in the nation.  The girth is 26' in circumference, but sadly it was struck by lightening 2 decades ago and is now dead.  Despite this, it is an amazing site.  The hike to it is along a well worn path into the woods that branches off of the Appalachian Trail, between Winding Stair Gap and Big Spring Gap.  Here we are at the sign, Ursula on the left, Mountain Man center, yours truly on the right.

Here she is upon my approach, she is the big white looking trunk in the center of the picture.

It is hard to grasp the enormity of this tree without being there yourself,
but here are a few shots from the bottom of the trunk to try to give you the sense of it...

This is a closeup of the bark near the top... 

We stayed around the tree for a while, taking in it's enormity.  I couldn't help but think how long it had been there, and how unfortunate that it was struck by lightening (good reminder that you don't want to be near a tall tree or anything tall during a lightening storm).  I tried to imagine what it must have looked like long, long ago...I only know the Poplar's in my own woods, and they are a miniature version of this one...so I let my imagination take me away...this must have been one shady tree!  Now it is just a huge shadow of it's former self, rotting away...which isn't such a bad thing because it allows for the knots to become clearly visible, and mushrooms and other things to become a part of it, and they are beautiful too!

Our hike to the tree was very pleasant.  We came across a gentleman with his two granddaughters, hiking the path and exploring every centipede and bug they came across; so nice to see!  He was also a wealth of knowledge about the area as well, telling us how to get to the tree but also a few other interesting "must see's" in the area. 

A few things of beauty to share...

a small fall along the way

After contemplating the Wasilik, we we headed to the Standing Indian Campground picnic tables and enjoyed our picnic feast.  The chicken was tasty, Ursula made delicious finger sandwiches with black forest ham, the potato salad just right, the watermelon and fresh plums refreshing, and the chocolate chip cookies a perfect ending to a lovely meal (see yesterday's blog for the simple recipes). Here is our lovely table and spread, with Ursula, Dick and Mountain Man:)

It truly was a lovely day, and this is only the beginning, Part 1.  After our picnic we visited two lovely waterfalls and an old graveyard.  Come back tomorrow and I will share Part 2 with you, being that there is so much to tell you and so many pictures to share I want to do them all justice.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Christine said...

What a great outing. If only trees could talk; I bet they've witnessed alot in the many years they've been around. Can't wait for part 2!

Lise said...

No doubt Mamabug, no doubt!