North Carolina county #89 Max Patch
For my last county of this trip, Madison County, I decided to go to Max Patch in Pisgah National Forest. I had to be careful with this one also, since it was very close to the Tennessee border again. On the way there, I saw an overlook which had a good view of the change in the trees as the elevation goes up.
As I stopped, I made sure of exactly where I would go to be sure I didn’t cut over the border. Max Patch has several trails running from it, most of them over Max Patch Mountain. One thing Google Maps didn’t tell me though, was that the last ten miles of the trip was on a very bumpy, narrow, winding, gravel road. I’m not sure how long I was on that road, but it took me two hours to get to my location.
I thought the terrain looked great to finally see some sparrows. However, maybe today wasn’t my day for birding because there was hardly anything around. It didn’t make much sense to me since the weather was good, not much wind, and the habitat looked just fine. But sometimes the birds just don’t play ball. That said one Song Sparrow did show up for a very short photo shoot.
I would have stayed here much longer if there was some activity, as it was at least nice scenery.
But, I was getting tired and with that long and difficult road, I was going to hit rush hour on the way back. I remember thinking that it would take something very rare to get me to drive that road again. Despite how difficult it was, there was still some traffic on it. Each time you pass someone, you have to be very careful not to fall off the cliff as the road is very narrow. Luckily, the difficulty of it keeps people moving fairly slow, and the extremely tight corners always have you hoping you don’t run into someone at that spot. As beautiful as it was, I can’t say I would recommend going there.
This was the last trip I needed to do overnight. The remaining eleven counties are close enough that I should be able to complete them in day trips.