Easing Back In

I know the peak is over and it won’t be long until the trees stand naked for the coldest weather (why is that?  wouldn’t they want to keep their leaves for warmth?). Anyway, I wanted to see if I was ready to hike again.  So I gathered some of my loyal warriors and headed out for a short, easy hike.

When we arrived at Gatewood Park, we were met with this:

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Since we didn’t see a “no parking” sign and they did not mention specifically no hiking, we decided to soldier on.

It was almost Karma when I spotted this sign:

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We took the eazy trail just for good measure.

This trail definitely lived up to its name “Beaver Creek” as we saw evidence of beavers everywhere.

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Is this how they do it?

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We were a little bummed to find that previous explorers had left behind some of their trash.  Seriously? How hard is it to pick up after yourself?

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Fortunately, one of the objects of litter was a plastic bag.  Sharon would not rest until she collected all the trash.  Of course there were no trash cans, so she had to carry it back to the car.

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Even though the hike was short, we all enjoyed being out in the woods together on this beautiful fall day.

The lake was pretty in spite of the sun taking the day off.

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And I always enjoy my time in the woods with my buddies.

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Oh, and when I got home, I realized I had reached my goal of 200 miles of hiking this year. Well, 201.6 to be exact, but who’s counting (ME, that’s who).  I’m not sure I’m ready for anything major just yet, so I’ll just ease back into it, one hike at a time.

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And enjoy time with my sign ignoring warriors!

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Thanks for visiting!

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GOAL!!

It may have taken all summer, but yesterday we achieved our goal of hiking the entire (57.7 miles) New River Trail!

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Some people can bike it in a day, some can hike it in a day or two, but for a couple of seniors – one with a bum knee and one with a bum shoulder – we were pretty proud to have accomplished this goal.  And to make it even better, the weather yesterday was outstanding!  75 degrees, sunshine, low humidity, who could ask for more?

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The final leg took us to the trail end (or beginning, depending on where you live) in Galax, VA at mile marker 51.

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Now that we have hiked the entire trail, we both agreed that our favorite stretch was from the junction where the trail splits off, to either Galax or Fries.  Both had the closest proximity to the river and offered some of these splendid sites.

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Today’s trip was about 10 miles.  Adding to the challenge, I woke up with knee issues and had to wear my knee brace. We discovered that when you know you are going to walk a certain distance, your mind doesn’t let you get tired until you know you are close to the end.  Whether it is 5 miles, 10 miles or more, your body adapts to what the mind tells it. So the aches and pains didn’t become noticeable until we were about 2 miles from the end.

However, we were treated to a wonderful surprise that made us forget those issues for a moment.  We could hear rushing water up ahead and were delighted to discover this stunning waterfall!

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In order to get the perfect shot – JG walked down a path and climbed on a couple of rocks.

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Being a holiday weekend, the trail was filled with bikers – making it a little noisier than what we’ve been used to; since we normally go early on Sunday mornings.  But we were happy to see the trail being enjoyed by college students and families and plenty of seniors like us.

A quick summary of this trail.  Our favorite restaurant on the trail is located inside the Draper Mercantile – The Blue Door Cafe.  The service is not always the best, but the food is usually worth the wait.  The bike shop next door is a great stop too if you are a hiker or a biker.

Even though we may have found the last portion the most picturesque, the leg from Pulaski to Draper offers some interesting sites like the Ghost Train.

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Each section had its own uniqueness and there were just a couple of spots that we thought were a little boring.

However,

Three tunnels and many bridges, lots of nature, enjoying the flow of the river, the peacefulness of hiking early morning, being outdoors with your favorite hiking partner, and going 57.7 miles and only seeing one snake? Priceless!!

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Such a wonderful resource, please come enjoy it with me sometime!

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