The Family That Hikes Together. . .

This weekend, my daughter planned an incredible get away/hiking adventure.  Tucked away in the Tennessee/North Carolina border, we stayed just outside the little town of Roan Mountain.  She found us an Indian themed cabin, that was cozy if not just a little over the top.

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This was my actual bed.

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We gave the kids the queen room since they brought their dog, and JG slept on his inflatable on the kitchen floor.  It was way more comfortable than it looks.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, she took us to a section of the Appalachian Trail that was a view seekers paradise.  If you have hiked the AT, you may know this spot – it was quite popular on this crisp September morning.

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The hike starts off on an easy trail through the forest. . .

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and brings you out onto the first of three bald knobs.

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It just gets better from here.  If every hike had this many views, I would never stay home.IMG_20180922_092857IMG_20180922_093028

But the most fun for me, was hiking with family.  We don’t get to do this very often and even though the kids go much faster than we do (and end up waiting on us) I think they enjoyed showing us this part of the AT that was new to us.

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Grand dog Stark, had a good time as well.  He can’t believe how high up he is.

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On the return trip, the clouds were moving in, but we did not get any rain.  I was so taken with the ridges and how they interacted with the sky – what a fantastic setting.

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We were all pooped by the time we returned to the cabin, especially Stark.  We had a quiet evening in.  This morning we had breakfast together and then parted ways.  I mentioned to JG that if he wanted to pull over for a quick hike on the way home, I did have a clean hiking outfit.

He took me up on it, and we stopped for a short loop at Grayson Highlands, where autumn has arrived a little earlier than the rest of the state.

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What a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Taking back roads home, I took this shot as it looked like we were driving into a major storm.  Turns out we just got the tail end of it.

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I love that our family enjoys these adventures together.  What fun things do you like to do with family?

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From Fungi to Webs

Last week I was all about the funky fungi.  Today’s hike in the mist of the foggy morning, was filled with the most striking spider webs.  I could not resist stopping, to try and capture their images to share with you.

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On a part of the Appalachian Trail that offered no mountain view, it was fun to just enjoy the trail and the natural surroundings.

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An annual Father/Daughter camping trip between JG and our one and only, was moved to a cabin due to the weather, so I got to join in for part of the trip.  (I don’t camp, but I do cabin.)  They had their bonding time on Friday, hiked all day Saturday and I joined them Saturday night and got to do a small hike with them this morning.  It was so fun to be in the woods with these two.

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Looks like hiking in rain/drizzle/fog/mist, is becoming a regular thing.  No problem!

 

Isn’t Nature Wonderful

I always say I’m not a nature person, but today I discovered so many beautiful things as we were hiking along that I just had to keep stopping to take pictures.

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The way the sun beam was shining on the damp leaves,

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and catching the spider webs.

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Or the macaroni looking fungus,

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and the early onset of fall colors.

We had a lovely 5 1/2 hours in the Forest without meeting a single soul.  I wonder if that had something to do with the fact that we had thundershowers?

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We had some heavy rains already this week, so the dam was flowing, creek crossings were challenging, but the view was still awesome.

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We were about a third of the way down when the rain came.  This time we were prepared. After getting caught in the rain last week, we purchased some rain ponchos and got to break them in today.

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By the way, check out those fungi!!!

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Incredible, right?

Once we made it back to the car and changed into dry clothes, the sun came out.  So we decided to drive across the river to get a view of where we had just been.

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Yes, we were on the top of that mountain, right under the power line.

Here’s how I have changed since I started hiking:

  • I now appreciate nature (not the bugs, but definitely the plants)
  • I’m no longer afraid of heights (I still have great respect for them though)
  • I am no longer hesitant crossing creeks
  • After a long challenging hike, I start thinking about doing it again

And last, but far from least:

I’ve found something that JG and I both love to do, and what a great way to spend our time together!!

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Makes you all want to visit Southwest Virginia, doesn’t it?