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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Me, posing on Wind Rock.

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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.

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

Happy Easter Everyone!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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

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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!

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Hey, 65’s not so bad after all!

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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