May 15, 2022
Bruce’s friend had been on most of the hiking trails at Monte Sano, but he hadn’t hiked the McKay Hollow Trail. It is marked as difficult on the hiking map. You can either start from the playground parking lot or hike another trail to get to the other end of the trail.
We started from the playground parking lot. We enjoyed the sweeping view from the overlook, before getting on the trail.
The trail head had a warning. “This is a 2 1/2 hour strenuous hike. Be prepared. Take food and water.”
The first bit was a stream and a waterfall.
Getting down to the valley is a semi technical climb. It is very rocky with step sides.
When we got down to the bottom of the trail, the creek bed was dry and full of rocks.
On the other side of the dry creek bed, we found markers.
We thought the McKay Hollow Trail was enough of a challenge that we didn’t even want to try the Rocky Nightmare Trail. It sounded pretty scary!
We had no idea what the MMTR 50K markers were. Zombies? Dead man running? When I got back to the RV and looked it up, it is a race. It stands for Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50 km. It is a 50 km ultramarathon. No wonder they had a skeleton running for their symbol!
The trail past the dried creek bed was mostly flat for a while. Then it started up. It was a very long ramp to get to the top of the mountain. We ran into Jack Skellington carved into one of the logs. We saw this in many logs that had been cut so trees weren’t blocking the path.
When we reached the top of the mountain, we walked back along the South Plateau Loop Trail.
We came to a historical marker with a corner stone for a house.
Down a side trail, there is an open air classroom.
We walked to the campground store and got water. We took a short cut back to the playground parking lot by walking through the Japanese Tea Garden. https://retirementrvdream.com/2022/05/15/japanese-tea-garden-at-monte-sano-state-park-huntsville-al/
There were many interesting plants and animals along the trail.
Once we made it back to the motorcycle, we figured out where we wanted to meet up for lunch.
Bruce and his friend spent a good bit of their time talking about people they both knew and college years.
In looking at the time, I told Bruce we needed to get back home to Nox. He agreed, so we took the fastest way back to the RV.
Nox was happy to see us, but she didn’t want to go outside. I thought she’d be really ready to go outside.
This morning, I could really feel the hike. My leg muscles were not happy with me. We walked over 20,000 steps and 62 floors according to my Fitbit.