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?

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!

 

Biking, Hiking, and World Cup

This weekend our little town hosted Bike Virginia.  I put my bike away about 10 years ago (after an unfortunate spill) and have not looked back.  But JG still rides frequently, so we decided to stroll down to the park and have a look.

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Interesting use of our soccer goals. . .

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Oh well, I guess if they were soccer fans they would have been inside watching the fantastic comeback of Germany in the 2nd round of the World Cup.  What a game!  JG was ecstatic!  If they don’t win Wednesday, I’m going to root for Mexico, our closest neighbor who is doing pretty well so far.

After not hiking one single mile in the month of June (here it is the 24th already), JG and I finally got out there today for a quick hike on a previously ignored trail at Mill Creek.  It was so green and so beautiful and I think I discovered a place to take my novice hikers.  This 3 mile loop was quite easy with just a little incline here and there.  I think it might be a trail for mountain bikers.  I proved to be a true hiker today, having enjoyed the walk through the forest with no view!  Other than the forest and the creek that is.

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Lookout, Babe!

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Thanks to a few showers this weekend, the air was mostly cool and the sun was shining brightly!

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Back home we watched Poland lose to Columbia (boy Columbia had a lot of fans there).  Any soccer fans out there?  If so, who are you rooting for?

Hope you all got outside this weekend, Summer Solstice for us means the daylight will be lessening.

Happy Hiking – Biking – and World Cup to you all!

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

 

 

Still Love the Flat Lands

I truly believe that where you live for the first 18 years of your life, shapes you as a person.  You can live somewhere else the rest of your life, but when you go back to the beginning, it is still “home.”  We just spent a week in the Midwest – my “home” for the first part of my life.

Now that I have finally embraced the mountains, people don’t understand why I still see the appeal of the flat country.  Here’s one reason.

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The clouds, the sunset, the stretch of road that goes on forever, those things represent home to me.

We had a fantastic trip visiting family and friends and enjoying the beauty along the way.

Whether it was the skyline view of Cincinnati from our balcony. . .

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a field of corn. . .

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or my brother/sister-in-law’s flowers . . .

 

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we enjoyed the environment very much.

A Midwest trip would not be complete without a “sleep over” with my buds.

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These ladies have been in my life for ages, and when we get together, it is pure joy!

The heat, humidity, and lack of mountains will keep me from moving back, but I’m grateful for my Midwest upbringing, which started right here.

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Do you feel that your life was shaped by your roots?

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

 

Sunny Sunday on the AT

After enduring a couple of brutally windy March days (in like a lion), we took advantage of the sunny, crisp Sunday and headed out on the Appalachian Trail towards Hay Rock/Carvin Cove.  The 8 mile round trip is a really beautiful hike.  Once you climb the 1640 feet elevation gain, you are mostly on a ridge.  There are several overlooks along the way.  With the sky as blue as could be, we got some good shots.

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There were definitely some obstacles due to recent winds.  We found ourselves climbing over, under, around and through.

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But we made our way to the Hay Rock in just under 3 hours, with a few stops along the way.

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Not sure how JG got these birds to pose for him.

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After all the short hikes I’ve done lately, this one really taxed my body.  Going down is always more painful.  But, spending time with the one I love in the beautiful outdoors, made it all worthwhile.

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Hiking Fun!

What a fun weekend!  The kids were home and we managed not one, but two hikes!  The weather was incredible, the fall colors are peeking out, and the company was the best!

Saturday we went to Gatewood Park and hiked about 4.5 miles around the lake.  The big question of the day was – Where’s the Lake?

Having just been there in May when the lake was full:

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You can imagine my surprise that this photo was taken from around the same spot.

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No matter, we still had an excellent hike that we all enjoyed.

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Even this guy.

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While that was fairly easy terrain with limited ups and downs, today’s hike provided a bit more of a challenge.

High Rocks on Sand Mountain, offers a good workout without being too strenuous, AND it’s only 2.7 miles round trip, AND it has views!

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So fun to climb on the rocks to grab the best views, but we also just sat and enjoyed being on the mountain top with no one else around.  We did not meet any other hikers until we were almost back to the parking lot.

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I’m glad these two learned to appreciate hiking while they are young – it took me 50+ years to realize how cool the mountains could be.

2 hikes in 2 days and 0 pain (knees – good, hip – fine, back – no problem) must be the water aerobics.  Can’t wait for next weekend.

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