Exploring a Ridgetop Meadow
After eleven years of hiking through Otter Creek Valley where I live, I was surprised to discover something new when looking at a recent satellite image from Google Earth.My house is located just to the right of the two red roofs in the center. What I saw was a cleared area in the upper left center, a feature that wasn’t there two years ago. Obviously that was the result of clear cutting timber from that part of the forest. Today, in the company of my canine companion, Buddy, I headed west to find out what had happened there.
Just after sunrise, we hiked up Otter Creek Road to the historic farm of the Connor family. The 150 year old log cabin is visible below Dick’s Mountain. Otter Creek flows past the homestead at the base of the mountain.
Climbing to the top of an old corn field, I found a logging road, heavily rutted by heavy rain over the past year. After a few hundred yards, I came across many blooming Mountain Laurel shrubs,
Another quarter mile, I suddenly came upon a large meadow at the crest of the ridge.
The loggers had cleaned up there debris, but had not replanted any trees. A panorama of mountains surrounded the meadow for a 360 degree vista.
2,800 foot Wolf Pen Mountain dominated the northwest horizon.
To the north, Brushy Top Mountain with its exposed granite south face, caught the morning Sun…
To the south, was the old logging road entrance…
Looking westward, Roan Horsetop Mountain rose above the woods…
Heading back down the old road, I emerged at the top of the field to see the log cabin illuminated by the bright mid-May Sun.
The view of the entire farm took me back to a time well before electric power, indoor plumbing, and virus pandemics. How fortunate I am to spend my isolation in such a beautiful place.That’s Otter Creek Road in the center. Look closely and you’ll find the cabin.