September 30, 2017
Hanging Rock State Park
Sherri and I.
Stokes County put on a fundraiser called Reach the Peaks. It was 10 miles and 5 peaks in Hanging Rock State Park. This is the 3rd annual but the 1st one for Sherri and I.
We decided to get a room in Winston Salem the night before so we stayed at the Quality Inn near Wake Forest University. The room was fair but had a wet smell to it. I bought Sherri and myself some all natural bug spray at the Chattooga Belle. It was made of Citronella, lemongrass, olive oil etc. We used it to spray the room. That did the trick.
After we settled in we went downtown Winston Salem to eat and mull through Mast General Store. If you have never been to one its a must see. Then we tried to find some downtown dining but decided to go to Olive Garden and “Carb up” for our big hike.
After chowing down we went back to the room settled down and went to sleep setting the alarm for 6 am.
As we know “continental breakfast” generally means YUCK. In true fashion this one was. We should have planned better to get a proper Hiking breakfast. Oh well. We checked out and were on our way to Hanging Rock.
We arrived in the parking lot to people everywhere. They had a tents set up. We could hear someone talking over the loudspeaker. My excitement jumped up to high.
We signed it got our Swag Bag with a t-shirt, bandana, water bottle etc. They gave us a card with a map and a place for someone to mark our times on each of the 5 peaks.
The runners were the first to go at 8am. We hung around and got in line to go for 9 am. We were the 2nd bunch to go and we made our way through the parking lot down the trail right through the campground. (they must have been over joyed when the runners came through at 8am) Sorry i missed that!
It was 2.25 miles up to Moore’s knob. There are a lot of steps. Hikers were saying 600-650 steps but i couldn’t find anything that said exactly. For whatever reason this park does not have one switchback. Its just up or down. I prefer to walk beside steps rather than on them. It was hard and we were on this hike with a couple hundred people which made it harder by passing or waiting for other hikers. Just as I was saying I wish they had mile markers like the interstates there is was, the first mile marker. Got to give it to the organizers, they thought of everything. At the top of Moore’s knob is our first check point where we get our card marked. It was 9:41. Not a great time but not bad either. There is an observation tower at the top and the most breathtaking views. It was an amazing place to be.
Next we go down Moore’s wall loop trail to mile marker 4 then turn down Magnolia springs trail and go down Wolf rock trail to Peak #2, House Rock. Its kind of hard to stop and enjoy the peaks because there are just so many people around. We got our cards signed and our time was 11:08. Anywhere in this park has a beautiful view. This would be our view from here.
The next we take a short less than a mile hike to Peak #3 Cooks Wall. We get our cards marked at 11:43. Have a little snack. Take a pic.
Then we backtrack on the same trail past House Rock up Cooks Wall Trail to just past mile marker 7 and come to Peak #4 – Wolf Rock. I really thought this was an awesome peak. We got our cards marked at 12:48. I jumped around from Rock to rock looking at all the views and heights I could. I took this picture of a random hiker and his dog on the edge of Wolf Rock. He actually went to the very edge and climbed down so he could get a picture of his dog up on the rock. Personally i think he was crazy!
I told Sherri I just had to go get my pic made there. Her not being as fond of heights as I am didn’t want to go take my picture. So off i went with my phone to get someone to do it. I saw that guy and his dog and showed him his picture. He gave me his number and I texted it to him then left toward the peak. Turns out it is a lot more terrifying than it looks. I stood half way between the people in this picture and where the guy stood with his dog. These rocks were way high up and only about 10 feet wide. I asked a girl to take my picture and I stood there scared to death. Her boyfriend said raise your arms or something and I wasn’t sure I could. She took this pic for me:
That dude must of had nerves of steel, all sorts of thought about death were running around in my head so i thanked her and got down off there fast. I find Sherri and she said i was hanging on to a tree looking around as best I could to see you. That was high up. I show her the pics and she says “oh she needs to take that pic back away from you so you can really see how high up you are” I thought about it for a minute, hesitated and said “nah I’m good” actually being kinda too scared to do it again.
So off we go up Cooks wall trail towards Hanging Rock. Its 2 miles. About mile marker 8 we turn onto hanging rock trail and there is a parking lot not far so needless to say we encounter all kinds of people just going to Hanging Rock. We start up this trail its big and wide and dirt. Doesn’t have any rocks or roots like 90% of this park. That doesn’t last to long because we come to steps. Lots and lots of steps. Some wooden some rocks. As per usual i try my best to walk beside not on the steps. I am actually dying halfway up these steps and low and behold I run into people i know. It always amazes me how small this world can be. Regan Smith from the Sun Devil’s parent Todd and Tonya. It was their first time here also. I quickly explain this is mile 9 and that’s why I’m dying here! You know cause they looked a fresh and clean. Sherri passes me so i say gotta go my friend just left me. We say good by and off I go up the rest of these damn steps.
We get to the top and have our cards marked. Its 1:43. We grab a snack and head back down. One mile to go. We turn toward the parking lot and go down or up an access road. Hiker down. I’m not sure what was wrong with her but they had paramedics helping her out and an ambulance coming. We finally arrive at the finish line! They are cheering us on, high fives and give us our Reach the Peaks Patch. What a great hike. They have food for us. We grab our sandwich, drink and chips and sit down. After a nice long hike like that it was the best sandwich in the world!
Shortly here comes Team MawMaw. On the front of their shirts it says 70 is just a number. On the back Team MawMaw. We were both in awe of this lady. We can only strive to be able to do this in 20 years! Sherri got her picture made with her and congratulated her.
It’s now 3:00 and time to get back to reality. Or Leave reality if that makes more sense. Everyday in the mountains is a great day.
Until next time!