The 21st annual March 10th Motorcycle Pete Retreat brought five men and three women to Camp F-Troop recently to celebrate the promise of spring. It rained all weekend, but we dodged raindrops and capitalized on breaks in the weather to enjoy two evening campfires, a trout-fishing venture, and a hike to the mountaintop.
After the Saturday morning rains abated, seven of us took off for the woods while Mark the Camp Concierge stayed behind to clean up camp and then rest from his labors. Queen, Digital, and Millimeter went fishing at Antler Run, while the three ladies and I headed north to Fern Hollow to climb the mountain. The guys caught only four fish, but all were beautifully-marked wild native brook trout, and catch expectations were low because the creeks were roily and water temperatures were low. They enjoyed just getting out there, breaking the ice on a new season, and wandering upstream under the hemlocks and white pines.
Meanwhile, I guided Miss Kentucky, Toots, and Roadie on a scenic hike up Fern Hollow under the cool river mists and threatening gray skies. We trekked a half mile up our favorite deer path to Trout Boulder, where a small waterfall pours over a rock ledge and creates a brookie pool below a large sandstone boulder. Then we climbed 800 yards up the mountainside and hiked a razorback ridge out to the “Top of the World” spot Miss Kentucky and I had named two years before. The four of us gazed in silence at the rolling high plateau of the Allegheny National Forest, moving from green and gray to purple in the distance. It’s a view any hiker who sees it won’t soon forget.
Good luck out there. And have a great week outdoors.
~ Don Feigert, 3-31-09