Rocky Point Parking Lot to Dowdell Knob intersection and back

Approx. 3.2 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes

This is the seventh in a series of posts about my weekly hikes on the Pine Mountain Trail.

img_0526I fully intended to do the Dowdell Knob loop today and what a beautiful day it would have been to be on that trail! I was disappointed, however, to find that the gate was locked, even though it was after 9:00 a.m. (the sign says it opens at 8:00). So I skipped ahead to the next hike, which was the connecting part of the PMT between the Dowdell Knob Loop and the Wolfden Loop. It’s not a very long hike, so doing a back-and-forth doesn’t take very long. The easiest way to approach this part is by starting at the Rocky Point parking lot and heading west.

Let me tell you, though, they don’t call this “Rocky Point” for nothing!

Rocky!This trail is just covered with large rock formations. At a couple points, you really have to do some climbing. Make sure you are wearing sturdy shoes! In the fall, the leaves are covering everything, so I lost my balance a number of times. Luckily, I still carry my trusty John Brent-bamboo walking stick!

img_0531I would label this trail a moderate hike, because there are some pretty steep portions. Maybe it was because I haven’t hiked in few weeks, but I certainly was winded, especially the closer to the Dowdell Knob intersection. So take plenty of water, too!

img_0529The day was just beautiful, and while I couldn’t get a completely clear view of the valley, I could see a little bit. There is a peaceful little creek you have to step over (with some loose rocks…be warned!), which, if you have time, is just a great place to sit and listen to God speak. The mornings thoughts took me to the lessons of week:

2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-13, (14-19)
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

This Sunday is the last Sunday of Pentecost, which is Christ the King Sunday. It’s the last day of the church calendar, where we conclude that our first allegiance as Christians is to our King Jesus and his Kingdom. However, it’s not quite the Kingdom that we might think as it doesn’t look like any other kingdom, government, or system we have ever seen before. And Jesus is not the King that we expect. Throw into the mix our American holiday of Thanksgiving, and I believe an interesting sermon is brewing.

You cannot be a true Georgian unless you listen to R.E.M. every once in a while. R.E.M. is a band that formed in the ’80s in Athens, Georgia and I would argue is one of the best modern bands in the world, and probably the most influential in this part of the country. They took “college pop” to a whole new level with Peter Buck’s jangly guitar and Michael Stipe’s distinctive and splashy vocals. The album I was listening to was And I Feel Fine: The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987, which is a good spectrum from their first five albums. This album has some of my all-time favorite tracks like Fall On Me, So. Central Rain, Driver 8, (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville, and the ultimate last song played at all dances between 1988 and 2000, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). In addition to those more popular songs, this album also has some of R.E.M.’s early hidden gems like Perfect Circle, Cuyahoga, and Talk About the Passion. I have been a fan of R.E.M. for almost 20 years now. They were a connecting point for Molly and me as we were dating. We’ve never seen them live, and I’m not sure I’d want to these days, as they are still selling out stadiums, but we certainly still buy all their albums. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like at least one song in the R.E.M. canon, so check them out.

Mile 17Mile 18

Next week, I hope to get on Dowdell Knob again. It’s one of my favorites! Until then…