Today we ventured up to the top of Ruffner Mt. (a treat for us since we usually park in the lower back parking lot off of Ruffner road) and went to see where this random road went.
It goes to ear pains for dogs apparently. Or at least, my dog. As we neared the top Whiskey began shaking his head violently every minute or so. His head tilted ominously to the left, favoring that ear. I wondered if a bug had crawled down it in his most recent bush exploratory session so I called him over to have a look-see. Nothing.
Then off he’d trot shaking his head and leaning again.
To get to this painful place simply park in the parking lot and walk up the paved road that leads up out of the upper tier of the parking lot. You’ll pass by the trails splitting off to your right but keep going. Then you’ll come to a cross roads of sorts. If you were to cut up the road to your right you’d find an ominous sign about people dying and air traffic control and no trespassing. We did not go up that way as signs about dead people tend to do the trick, to keep me away at least.
If you are walking towards the tower and were to take the road that splits off from this same intersection, but is the second on your right, you’d find that it leads you back to the split off of the buckeye/wetlands trail to go down the mountain.
If you continue upward and onward you’ll find the old fire tower. If you look down the embankment towards Birmingham directly across from the firetower you’ll notice the shape of what at first might look like a body of water, then no, you’ll focus your eyes and wonder if it’s a parking lot being the color of unambiguous concrete… then you’ll find a rounded edge and wonder if it’s a water tower of some sort, except it doesn’t seem to be towering but right down on the ground in the woods. A weird oddity to be explored another day I suppose! If any of you have hiked to it or know it’s identity do explain! Also, don’t expect to see this in the spring or summer as you need all the leaves to be gone to see it.
At the very end we came to the source of pain for Whiskey. It wasn’t a bug. It was a comcast tower that had a clear as day sign with those smaller to larger half circle symbols around a picture of a tower that everyone knows to mean “sound is emitting” from this source. And upon reading it (quickly as I drug the now nearly seizure like Whiskey back down the hill) that it said something about not being responsible for the damage that might happen due to the high frequency emitted from the tower. The further we got a way, the less his head shook, like a sonar slowly blipping off screen until there’s nothing. Then he was walking head erect, no shaking, and I promised we wouldnt’ go that far up again. We took a nice solitary break to have water and blueberries. That’s the neat thing about Ruffner sometimes. There are so many trails that even though there’s dozens of people filtering out of cars, sometimes you still never see a soul on the trails!
Lesson to dog owners: if you want to go up to the tower fine. Be aware that your dog may be sensitive to the frequencies from the comcast tower further up the road and look out for signs of head shaking, head leaning, discomfort. If you see this then please go back down for the sake of your dog lol! Maybe your dog won’t hear anything, or have any symptoms! You never know 🙂
There was a sign of a new trail being blazed off to the right on our way up to the tower. I’ll have to explore that one another day. All in all it was a quick easy hike and interesting to see but not all that dogtastic or anything. So we rank this hike as 2 tail wags out of 5 (mostly due to ear pain!).