Mother’s Day Hiking

Looks like all that physical therapy paid off, as I was able to get out and hike with my daughter today, along with many other moms.  We had a fun filled weekend, starting with her coming up Friday afternoon, taking a road trip to visit friends on Saturday, and exploring a new trail today.

After spending the night in Fredericksburg, we headed out early onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.

IMG_20180513_094920

Stopping at a couple of overlooks.

Our hike of choice today was Crabtree Falls.  It is billed as the highest set of waterfalls east of the Mississippi.  We started at the bottom and followed the falls through many stairs and switchbacks.

IMG_20180513_111230IMG_20180513_112124

We could hear the rushing water throughout the hike, and there were many lookout spots to enjoy, and take selfies.

IMG_20180513_112143

It’s only 1.7 miles to the top, but there is a 1500 ft. elevation gain, so it is steep and challenging.  Not having hiked in 3 weeks, I huffed and puffed before we made it to the top.  Once there, we found a place in the shade and enjoyed a snack.  We waited patiently as a family were taking over the best viewing area.  Being Mother’s Day, there were quite a few hikers out (glad we got an early start), but these folks seemed oblivious to all the people waiting to take photos, like Lori and me.

IMG_20180513_114132

I finally just went down there and started taking some pictures.

IMG_20180513_114326IMG_20180513_113439

The view is of the Tye River Valley.

They finally left and we were able to grab a quick selfie before giving it over to the many others who had also been waiting.

IMG_20180513_114642

Rather than going straight down, we were encouraged to take the trail another mile to see a crab tree orchard.  Thinking this would be the namesake of the falls, we decided to go.  What we found was another parking lot/entrance, a road that went to the Appalachian Trail, and nothing else of interest.  So we added 2 miles, which was fine.

It felt so good to be out on the trail again after a 3 week sit out.  It ended up being a 6 mile trip, every thing in my body aches right now, but I don’t care.  It was the best Mother’s Day present ever!

Thanks Lori!

 

Absentee

Yes, we had a city wide election this week, and yes, all my favorites won, and yes, I worked the polls from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. , and yes, I celebrated with the winners – but no, that’s not what I’m writing about today.

IMG_20180503_112640

This is my car, all ready to go, with both pairs of hiking boots, socks, bug spray, hiking stick, and alas, my body has failed me yet again.  I have been an absentee from the trails for a couple of weeks.  It figures, now that spring is finally here and there are lovely days ahead, I’m temporarily sitting on the bench.  This time it’s my back.

But the good news is, I’m in Physical Therapy and water aerobics, and I hope to be out in nature again soon.  Meanwhile, I will live vicariously through all of you.

Happy Spring!

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

My apologies to Lemony Snicket for stealing his title.  JG and I have been watching this delightful series on Netflix and it seemed appropriate given the trouble I’ve had all week in my blogging world.

It started Sunday, when I logged in to write about my weekend hikers.

IMG_20180414_093338When I tried to write a new blog all I got was a blank screen.  Having recently received emails from WordPress suggesting I upgrade, I figured it was time, and maybe they were locking me out until I did.  They suggested it might take a couple of days to switch to my new domain, so the blank screen kept appearing and I waited impatiently patiently.

I finally got very frustrated when I was no longer able to comment on other blogs.  Now I knew something was seriously wrong.  I tried “chatting” with WP reps, tried phoning them (no one answered), tried sending them an email (no reply) and finally I just texted fellow blogger, and friend, LB from Life on the Bike who put me in touch with Joe from The Visual Chronicle.  Joe sent me several suggestions, and of course it was the last one I tried that worked.  I simply had to clear my cache – well “simply” to some.  Thanks to Joe, I’m up and running again.  I love the blogging world!  Thanks Joe, you’re my new hero.

Two fun hikes this week, first with my working friends who can only come out to play on the weekend.  We did a lovely out and back on the Appalachian Trail.  Then my retirees and I went to my favorite Hungry Mother.

IMG_20180418_122129_1

On the trip home, as everyone was thanking me for being their tour guide, I jokingly said I considered this my “volunteer” work.  Between water aerobics, bridge, and hiking, I don’t have a lot of time for charity work – but I’m getting all these women out into the woods – so I think I will start putting that on my resume.

A friend mentioned to me last night that she loved seeing different faces on my hikes.  I never know who will show up.  I love that I have such a wonderful group, and that I can always find someone to go with me.

By the way, if you haven’t checked out “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Snow Brings out Hikers

Did not expect to see snow today.  We had some snow on Saturday, but it was mostly melted by Sunday.  So, we were a little surprised to arrive at Mountain Lake this morning for a leisurely hike, to see it covered in snow.

IMG_20180410_101532

Thankfully, we had all brought layers, and everyone was excited about hiking in the snow!  A first for some of us.

IMG_20180410_101012

It was a beautiful day, hardly any wind, and very well marked trails.  So we just enjoyed being back in the woods together.

It’s fun to see the mountains in the different seasons.  And the snow added an extra zing to the view, which was spectacular!

IMG_20180410_102233IMG_20180410_105009IMG_20180410_105147IMG_20180410_105150IMG_20180410_105407IMG_20180410_105639IMG_20180410_105126

These ladies did not even bat an eye when they saw the snow, I’m so lucky to have found such adventurous companions.

IMG_20180410_095000

 

 

 

Rookie Day

It’s been a busy week, and we’ve had cold, rainy weather.  I knew today would be the only decent day for hiking, but most of my regulars were out of town.  So I rounded up a newbie who has been wanting to join the group but was afraid she wouldn’t be able to keep up.

We took a relatively short hike (albeit steep in places) and stopped to catch our breath from time to time.  I made sure she made it all the way.  She loved being on top of the mountain, and we had a great time.

IMG_20180405_132227

Always love to see the face of someone who has discovered the joy of reaching the goal.

IMG_20180405_132253IMG_20180405_132257IMG_20180405_132458_1

Because the best way to hook a new hiker is to give them an awesome view.

Just another Saturday in the Woods

Just sharing some pictures from yesterday’s hike.  It was a crisp, cool Saturday and we just wanted to be in the woods for a little hike.  We started on the War Spur Trail behind Mountain Lake and ended up on the Appalachian Trail which took us to Wind Rock.  Due to strong winds this season and heavy snow last week, there were a lot of trees down.

IMG_20180331_144219

IMG_20180331_122124IMG_20180331_134114IMG_20180331_122133

Me, posing on Wind Rock.

IMG_20180331_141923IMG_20180331_141849

You can access Wind Rock by walking about .2 miles from the parking lot entrance to the AT.  We’ve done that before.  We were parked at the entrance to the War Spur Trail and didn’t realize the AT connection was so much longer, so instead of retracing our steps, we just walked the last two miles on the road, which followed the stream.

IMG_20180331_150332

What started out simple, ended up much longer and more challenging.  Isn’t that kind of like life?

Happy Easter Everyone!

images

When I’m 65

Yesterday, when I was only 64 – I decided a hike would be a good way to end this year of my life. The weather was perfect and JG was willing so we spent the afternoon at Read Mountain near Roanoke.  The view from Buzzard’s Rock was especially clear on this sunny day.

IMG_20180318_154252IMG_20180318_154318

Today, I turned 65!  My brother reminded me this morning that I am officially retirement age (and qualified for Medicare). Yikes! That makes me sound old!

I decided I needed a challenge to bring on this new era of my life.  For those of you who have followed me for a while, you may remember the hike that stumped me last year, Dragon’s Tooth.  Fellow hikers in the New River Valley may think I’m a wimp because kids, dogs, and people of all ages do this hike.  Plus, it was especially important to me to conquer this hike, since my daughter got engaged at the top of this mountain.

IMG_20180319_120159

We did not announce that we were going to attempt this again, I didn’t want to have to admit failure twice.  We managed to get much further this time – all the way to this:

IMG_20180319_125005

the narrow path to the left, going straight up, was the first time I thought about turning back.  It turned out, this wasn’t even the toughest portion.

At one point I stopped and told JG to go on without me – the climb was steep and narrow and I was hugging rocks and freaking out.  As he took off, I sat there thinking “Are you kidding me? He just left me here on my birthday??”  Then I started tearing up, and then I took a deep breath and decided I was not going to let this mountain defeat me again.

Guess what?  I made it!

IMG_20180319_133328

It’s better to be a warrior than a wimp.

IMG_20180319_133307IMG_20180319_133208IMG_20180319_134206

That’s JG with his Perrier (I know, seriously?)

I can now say I have hiked Dragon’s Tooth, but this is a “one and done” do not ask me to go back, because the answer will be – no thanks.

JG took the day off to spend my birthday with me – what a great present to complete this hike with the one I love!

IMG_20180319_133353

Hey, 65’s not so bad after all!