Saturday–February 13, 2021
Location–CR-56/US-231, then to US-280
An iffy day weather-wise, cold and overcast. As a result, decision is to skip the Terrapin Hill section for now, leave it for another day. I’ve 11.5 miles of roadwalk ahead, and I’d like to break that up into two different day hikes. If I start where the Terrapin Hill section ends at CR-56/US-231, then hike through Stewartville to US-280, that will cut the roadwalk in half.
So, with the day coming around a bit, leaving my truck at the trailhead near US-231, I head north. US-231 is a very busy federal highway, traffic moving hard and fast. I’ve done a fair amount of roadwalking in my time, some okay, even enjoyable, some not so great. This US-231 is one of the not so great roadwalks–blind curves, blind top-outs, drop-off shoulders, heavy traffic. Thankfully, I’ve only a short distance to CR-53 where the trail turns to a quiet county road–to be confronted by another problem, dogs. Since routing the trail this way, hikers have complained about the dogs along CR-53. They’re here all right. Oh yes, they’re here! But I find them not the least bit a problem. Many are running loose, not penned up, so out and into the road they come first thing, four to start with. But these man’s-best-friends are all wagging their tails. Tail wagging is a dead giveaway! Mean dogs bare their teeth, they don’t wag their tails. These old fellows are just inquisitive, all friendly tail waggers! On up, more dogs, but they stay their distance, and though raising a holy ruckus, they remain in their yards, and are not the least problem.
Turning onto CR-150 and crossing Weogufka Creek, I’m soon at the Dollar General in Stewartville. Time for a break (and some snacks) so in I go. Back out, shouldering my pack and preparing to head on down the trail, who drives up but none other than my dear friend, Joe, assistant caretaker up on Flagg Mountain. I’d contacted Joe earlier to see if he’d come take me back to my truck once my hike was finished today. “Just checking on you.” says Joe as he heads on over to US-280 to wait for me.
And at the highway, Joe is right here! The rain has held off, there’s been only the least wind, so what was a cold, dreary day turned into a very pleasant time!
Ahh, yes folks, the wanderlust is already kickin’ in…
Highway, by-way, many a mile I’ve done;
Rare way, fair way, many a height I’ve won;
But I’m pulling my freight in the morning, boys,
And it’s over the hills or bust;
For there’s never a cure
When you list to the lure
Of the Wan-der-lust.