A Hike for Everyone

The old me used to only see a great mountain view if I could drive to the top of the mountain.  Now, I am happiest when I can “earn” it by hiking to the top.  I think everyone should be able to enjoy that spectacular view, so today I found myself leading an unlikely crew, to what I consider an easy hike for the best reward around.  Of course, I’m talking about Buffalo Mountain, where I’ve been many times.  But today, my hikers included one complete novice, Liz

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Another, somewhat newbie, who has only been on one previous hike with me, Patti

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A seasoned hiker from out West, who has been looking for someone to hike with since she moved to the area, Patty

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And my longtime, faithful hiker, Peggy

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Together we enjoyed a beautiful fall day and had the top of the mountain all to ourselves!  We were mostly strangers to each other, I knew Patti and Peggy, Peggy knew Patty, none of us knew Liz.  But by the end of the day we were old friends enjoying an outing together and encouraging each other as we slowly made our way to the top.  And even though there was a little haze in the air, they all agreed that the view was remarkable,

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and that hiking, in a group, is just the best!

 

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Happy Reunion

Tucked away in hills of Southwest Virgina, is a little gem hike known as The Channels.  This was my third trip out there, but a first time adventure for my Weekday Warriors.

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We have not hiked together all summer.  We took the summer off because of travels, heat, and bugs.  But now the fall weather has arrived and we had the most incredible day!  Blue skies, good friends, and the most amazing rock formations.

The Channels are 400 million year old sandstone outcroppings.  It’s probably best if I just show you.

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When you arrive at the top of the trail, you only need look for the signature fire tower to know you are heading in the right direction.

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Not everyone is aware that there is a fantastic view and a chance to stand on top of another group of rock formations, just to the left of the main hike.  We were happy to have this spot to ourselves while we enjoyed lunch together in the sun.

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There’s also a bit of a view if you are willing to climb up a sandy and somewhat slippery boulder.

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It’s always fun to take hikers to a place I’ve been before.  I get to see it anew through them.  We spent an hour exploring everything, it was a full day, and we all went home tired, but happy.

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I’m just glad to be back out on the trails with my hiking buddies.  They are the best!!

 

Travel Options

I don’t usually promote businesses, I quit buying T-shirts with company logo, and I am not being paid to write this blog.  But, I just wanted to share, what we have found to be a great way to travel, Airbnb.   We have been using Airbnb for several years, and have not been disappointed yet.

Our recent trip to Canada was no exception.  The first apartment in Niagara Falls was only ten minutes away from the falls.  Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, you would never guess there were thousands of people just minutes from here.

Trying to find a hotel in Toronto under $250 was almost impossible.  Thanks to this gem, we could afford to stay in the city for four nights.

And, finally, at the Bay of Quinte we had so much space we almost got lost!

I’m not a camper, so this has been a great way for us to travel.  All of these apartments were right at, or just under $100 per night.  Just saying. . .

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What’s your favorite way to travel?

Oh, Canada

Realizing I could easily write an essay on our recent trip to Canada, I decided you might be more apt to read it, if it was described in pictures.

Let me start by saying that one of the highlights for me was meeting fellow bloggers.  First was lunch with Deb from The Widow Badass.

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She was just as delightful in person as she is on her blog.

I also got to meet Joanne from My Life Lived Full, who was my inspiration for this trip as she is always writing about her city, Toronto.

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It was fun to meet these women face to face and solidify what, up til then, had been just an on-line friendship.

Just a few tips about Canada

If you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls:

  • Go directly to the Canadian side, it’s easier access and a much better view
  • Try to avoid arriving mid-day – on a weekend – in the summer (like we did)
  • Be prepared for crowds

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  • Take the boat ride which ever side you are on

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  • And, finally, go with the one you love if possible.

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Toronto

The largest city in Canada has one of the most efficient public transit systems.  If you go, take the subway, the bus, and the cable car!

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Look for the black squirrels.

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Enjoy the sites.

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Visit neighborhoods.

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What ever you do, you will enjoy this city.  It has something for everyone.

In closing, I just have to say that I was struck by how positive everyone was – from messages on T-shirts, to billboards, to the people we met.  The Prime Minister addressed the nation while we were there.  He stated the importance of listening to each other.  With such a diverse population, it was wonderful to see everyone getting along.  Because after all, don’t we all just want the same things in life – peace, happiness, and opportunity?

Oh, Canada, you won my heart!