Hiking with Mike

A while back I took a hike with Mike Vickers of MV Photography. We know each other from our college days back at UAB.

Mike’s main passion is music, but photography pulls up as a quick second favorite. Do check him out on FB: MV Photography.

And of course, thanks to his natural eye the best picture we got that day was the one I coaxed him into taking. I really like that in this picture you can make out Whiskey’s pencil style mustache lol!

The hike: So let me tell you about our hike. We explored past the Wetlands Yellow Gate that you encounter on what I’ve named “Gunslinger Alley” (because of hearing all the constant gunshots from what I hope is a firing range). When you get to the next intersection past the gate (which is the intersection at the bottom of the Big Hill) go left.

All up in this area are turn off after turn off after turn off. We spent a good hour climbing steadily up the hill, exploring the occasional cut off. I kept careful track of whether we went right or left at which intersection and eventually after coming neither to house, nor road, nor sounds of civilization we turned around. I have a good idea that we were on the side of the mountain closest to Roebuck. GPS on your phone helps a lot to show were you are but it won’t help you with figuring out trails. If you’re going to go on these unmarked trails then I suggest always letting someone know where you’re headed, perhaps dl a gps app on your phone where you can be tracked (if going solo especially) and having a reliable gps with you to figure out where the heck you are if all becomes confused!

I think with the exception of one impossibly bad washed out area, that most of this trail would be good for mountain biking. There are lots of inclines and the trail looks like it’s been used in the past for offroading and dirt bikes.

Soon I’ll be finishing my exploration of Gunslinger Alley with a post about what happens if you go strait up the “big hill” and follow it to it’s completion.

The worst part of this hike was definitely when Whiskey decided to roll around in poo. I had to try and clean off as much as I could before he could track it into my truck. Poor Mike having to watch me clean poo of of Whiskey with a sad assortment of Kleenexes lol.

Overall I give this trail 3 out of 5 tail wags. It’s steady incline will keep your heart rate up if you keep a steady pace. It’s never ending assortment of trails to choose from as you turn off and explore side trails is always nice. But if you’re looking for a major vista on the trail (a waterfall, bolder fields, lake or gorgeous stream) then you are out of luck. It’s just a regular plain kind of trail with lots of side trails to keep you busy.

Directions: park at the back lot on Ruffner Rd to reach the wetlands trail. Walk until the first major intersection with signs where you will turn Right (opposite of Wetlands) and go down the unnamed unmarked Gunslinger Alley. When you climb over the yellow fence take the next left hand trail (at the bottom of the big hill).

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