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Georgia Wilderness Society
Bond Swamp Hike

Bond Swamp hike 12/17/05

We had planned a longer hike, but with the rain earlier in the week, knew it would be too muddy (I’ll try to lead this trip again, it’s such a wonderful place).  Plus, cold rain was predicted for the afternoon.  Dianne Brannen usually gets up at 5:00 a.m., so she suggested we meet at 9:00.  All nine of us were there promptly at 9:00, but there were some mighty sleep people getting out of their cars!  I think it’s wonderful to have a group of people that when they say they’ll be somewhere, they show up, on time, even if the weather is iffy.  Also, everyone was very understanding as to the change of plans.

The Beaver Swamp trail is 1.3 miles long and flat, so we strolled and looked at the amazing old growth forest along Stone Creek.  Margaret Clay brought Lynn Rowbuck because she knew what a pleasant walk this was, as opposed to the vigorous hike originally planned; I’m glad she got to come.  I highly recommend that you go see this place, just don’t go if there’s been lots of rain, as it floods. 

After much speculation on the part of the group, Bud Queen explained how the cleared space under a tree was the action of the rare swamp predator Homo Sapiens.  Niki Queen told us about other parts of the swamp that she has visited many times.  Many, many signs (your government dollars at work) warned us not to go that way, which we honored, as we suspected that’s where the bald eagle nest is, and we didn’t want to disturb the birds.

Bonnie Gehling took a group photo with her impressive camera; I hope she posts the photos.  Then we drove 1 mile and walked the Long Leaf Pine trail (1.9 mile loop).  The trail is mostly a pine needle covered jeep road, so we could walk side by side.  This was quite a social event!  That was particularly nice, because this was the first GWS event for Ed James and Jo Huskey and we got a chance to know them a little.  Jo moved to Macon several years ago from California, and didn’t realize there were people here that hike and bike.  Needless to say, I got her email so I could send her some activity information; her email address starts with happytohike.  So I guess we’ll see more of these two!

We made it back to the cars as the rain and sleet began, and agreed it was a fine event all around.