Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Extreme Wildlife Adventures in Wake County

Steve and I had a blast today, and it was the most random day I’ve had in a long time, so I thought it was worth noting. In preparation for the upcoming family trip to Yellowstone, I decided I wanted Steve to teach me how to fly fish. Since his experience has been limited to the annual “guy’s trip” with his brothers and dad, Steve felt like he might need a refresher himself, and certainly didn’t know the good spots to go to in Raleigh. So we met up with our friends the Touseys, Tim and Jenn, and their two kids, Sam and Charlotte. Tim is an avid fisherman, and had been wanting to try out a new spot his friend had told him about in the middle of Umstead Park. dsc01624
We had agreed to meet at 9:00, however, we got sidetracked by a situation that required my immediate attention. There in the middle of the road, at the corner of Lynn and Leesville Rd, sat a HUGE Snapping Turtle! Now, as some of you may know, I have had some run-indsc01619s with rescuing turtles in the middle of roads before. 🙂 This turtle, however, was BIG and PISSED!!! I got out of the car and some other lady had stopped also. She tried to pick him up from the front as his mouth was wide open and he was hissing (hmmm, perhaps not the smartest move?). The turtle literally jumped at her, and the lady screamed…so I picked him up from behind (he was HEAVY!) and carted him off across the road to safety, with him scratching and clawing the whole way. He was kind enough to pose for one picture with his mouth closed. 🙂

So with all that excitement out of the way, we met the Tousey’s and hiked down to the lake. Its kind of off the beaten path, and there was not another soul in sight. The weather could not have been more perfect. Tim proceeded to give me a wonderful lesson on the basics of casting, while Steve brushed up on his tying on techniques. While Sam was attempting to “catch a dolphin” from the docks, Steve and I found a nice little nook in the lake in the shade. Throughout the morning Steve caught 4 fish, and I caught 3! I think my favorite part was putting them back in the water and watching them swim away 🙂 After lolling the morning away, dreaming of backpacking/fishing expeditions we could take, we were starting to get hungry, so we headed over to Lake Crabtree with our bikes for a nice picnic lunch by the lake. With the nice breeze coming off the lake, and our nice spot in the shade, it didn’t even seem to matter that we had no hand sanitizer to wash the fish slime off our hands before we ate 🙂 We ended our afternoon with a lazy, laidback ride thru the mountain bike trails at Crabtree, but NOT before we came across another small box turtle in the middle of the bike trail. He was a scaredy cat, but we saved him anyway.
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 So that was my day. Just goes to show that you don’t have to travel to some mystical, remote place to enjoy the outdoors. Keep your eyes open, and you just might surprise yourself with all the fun you can have in the little corner of Creation that you call home! 🙂

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN