Hike’s a Journey

Some hikes you know you are just going for the view.  Today’s hike was more about the journey.  And what a journey!  My warriors were put to the test on what we all agreed was our most difficult hike so far – but also the most interesting, challenging, and wonderful hike.

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This is the before picture, when we were all fresh.

What made it challenging was: the length – 7 miles; the creek crossings – 3; the rocky terrain; and the elevation gain – 1500 + feet.

Just a little sample of the creek crossings.

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Of course there was a view. . .

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and a beautiful creek. . .

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and the hint of fall colors.

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I wrote about this hike, Mill Creek, a few weeks ago, this is one that JG and I got caught in the rain.  Every time I do this (today was number 3) it seems to get a little easier and it always looks just a little different.  I will be taking my weekenders here later in the month, it could be even more of a challenge as the leaves were falling at an alarming rate today.

Great way to spend Columbus Day.  A shout out to my Canadian friends – Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone had a wonderful day!  I know we did.

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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?

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!

 

 

 

 

New Discovery

Sometimes, being the leader of a group can present some challenges.  Last year I was encouraged to start a hiking group for women.  Beginning with just a few friends, my list has grown to about 16 names as more women hear about the group and want to be included.  Not everyone on the list has been able to hike, but that is the beauty of having such a list.  Having the company of one or two others, prevents me from getting lost in the wilderness (have I mentioned I am a terrible map reader?)

One of the challenges I face, is where to go.  Where we go is determined by who is coming with me.  There are some places that I am comfortable going with just one other person. But sometimes, when I know it is a trail with not much traffic, I like to have more bodies. Or if someone has just hiked a trail with me, I look for some place they haven’t been.

If I’m going to a new place, I try to research it as much as possible ahead of time, looking at maps (which is usually Greek to me) and trying to determine how best not to get lost.

Today I lucked out on two fronts.  First, after starting with five women who expressed an interest, and ending up with two who could actually go, we went to one of those places where we were about the only ones on the trail.  There was one other car in the parking lot, but we didn’t see anyone on the trails.

And, secondly, I discovered a new place to hike!   A place I had never heard of, until I saw it on Facebook under: “10 hikes you didn’t know existed.”

Less than an hour away from home, we were treated to a splendid hike that rendered . . .009

some spectacular waterfalls,

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a dam,

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greenery,

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a slightly scary bridge,

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and one show off!

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Mill Creek Trails just on the edge of Narrows, VA proved to be a wonderful discovery. There are several trails with all levels of difficulty.  So of course we must go back.

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And these brave ladies trusted me to take them to a place I had never been.

Let the fall hiking begin!