Well Ding Dang Doodle the day started with Wilson, Sarah and Shiloh going on a morning run and swim to enjoy the beautiful sunrise! A delicious breakfast was quickly eaten (they spoil us here), and then we packed for our hike to Reef Bay Trail. Cars were packed and we were off! While traveling to the trail Renee made a pit stop to tell Suzanne to turn on an Aretha Franklin Freedom song (clearly this is important enough to cause a minor back-up)…and then further down the road we encountered an extremely slow driver whom we named Reginald T. Slowbottom. Renee was very anxious, but only beeped the horn once, while Caleb yelled from the back seat to pass him! Wilson was just aggravated, while Suzanne kept smiling. Distractions are common, therefore we missed our turn (thanks Renee). After some side-road-chat we finally reached our destination!
The hike began with Kristie and Sarah setting the hiking mood. The first mile and a half were an easy down-hill hike, with many unique common plants (and one VERY SCARY spider, which Kristie and I despised). Along the way we walked through many ruins, such as: Josie Gut, Par Estate Village and Anna Marsh’s House. All the while you can hear Wilson’s bird call coming from the back of the pack, this so called Spishing sound (its weird). The biggest and best preserved ruin we saw was the Reef Bay Sugar Mill, which was home to many (cute) Fruit Bats.
We then detoured to the Petroglyph Trail, which had a 40 foot waterfall (more like a trickle). The Petroglyphs were…well how can I put this…alien-like. They are supposedly a religious symbol of the ancient Taino people who once inhabited St. John. Some of the Petroglyphs portray a bat nose of human faces , which was important to the Taino people. While enjoying the Petroglyphs we indulged in lunch (we take multiple lunch breaks a day).
From there we hiked down to Reef Bay to enjoy a relaxing swim or sunbathe (and a second lunch). Kristen found a Spotted Eagle Ray while snorkeling and her excitement was very fulfilling. Randi spotted an Agave missionum, “Century Plant” with a influoresence four Wilson’s high (for those of you who don’t know his height, thats about 24 ft high). We sadly left Reef Bay and started the hot, steep trek back to VIERS. Along the way Randi counted about 80 termite mounds (for her research project). Much sweat was developed on the way back to camp. All in all we hiked a total of about 5.1 miles from the very beginning all the way back to VIERS.
Once “home” some partaked in a game of soccer juggling turned volleyball. Things got a little wild and intense…Wilson, Renee and Suzanne left to pick up the vehicles back at the Reef Bay trailhead. In the meantime, Sarah, Kristie, Caleb, Shiloh, Jesse, and Caitlin moved the volleyball game to the road. Our tribal sides took over and we smeared war paint (mud) on our faces and put leaves in our hair (yes, its was fun and not childish). Wilson arrived first and was met by the Gfoup Tribe to his surprise. All he could do was shake his head and pretend that he didn’t know us…Suzanne and Renee showed up shortly after and were also pleasantly surprised at our tribal stance. Renee was particularly amused and could not stop laughing (see picture below because we really were cool looking)!
Dinner was once again delicious! Another group here at VIERS from New York was kind enough to allow us to tag along on their bat catching by mist nets. They caught one and it was really cool to be that up close and personal with such a mysterious creature! The night ended with everyone packing and going to bed early for our 3:30am wake-up call for a moonlight hike to Rams Head!
-Sarah and Kristie, your tour guides who accept donations and welcome business ;)