Whether to weather the weather

Being the leader of a women’s hiking group means you have to make decisions:  where to go, where to meet, and when to call off a hike due to weather.  After carefully checking the weather for several days, I thought today would be a good hiking day – only 20% chance of rain and temps in the 40’s.  So when I woke up this morning and heard rain falling, I jumped out of bed to check my local weather.  Whew!  It’s scheduled to stop around 8:00 a.m. and then be clear until evening.  So I sent out an email that the hike was on!

My group of seven, dwindled down to four.  Great, we all fit in one car!  But, about half way there, it began pouring, with the windshield wipers getting a great workout.  Plan B was to drive around the park and then go out for lunch.  What luck though, as we pulled into the park it cleared up.  And these brave women were off!

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Though I’ve been to Hungry Mother a gazillion times, this was only my third climb to Molly’s Knob.  It is a fairly steep, steady climb to the top, so we took several breaks along the way.  Including this lookout of where we were headed, that’s Molly’s Knob.

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The last half mile is the steepest – I guess you have to earn your view on this one.

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It was not a great day for picture taking, but the view was really worth the climb.  Just look at these happy faces.

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After a long rest, we headed back down.  We immediately picked up a strong wind, a little rain, even a piece of ice fell from somewhere, but that only lasted a few minutes and then it was pleasant.  We stopped at the lookout again and this time saw patches of blue sky.

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I checked three different weather sources this morning, one of them actually mentioned freezing rain, but I knew if I could just get one more person to go with me, that I really wanted to go today!  So glad we didn’t have to cancel.

As Sir Ranulph Fiennes says:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

 

 

Revisiting my Happy Place

As many know, Hungry Mother State Park is my favorite place in Southwest Virginia.  I’m pretty sure I have been on every trail there, as well as kayaked across the entire lake, and on occasion have rented their cabins.  Not to mention the many times I’ve written about it and shared pictures.

When it is 75 degrees, sunny with a cool breeze and low humidity – it seems pretty natural that a hike is in order, especially since my body is in pretty good shape (at the moment).  And, since it is only an hour away. . .

 

We hiked about 8 miles – including going to Molly’s Knob which I have only done once before because it is kind of steep.

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But we made it. . .

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And there were some very nice people up there who offered to take our picture.

We ended up walking much further than we had planned, mostly because it was a beautiful day and we had nothing to do that couldn’t wait until tomorrow.

While uphill takes the wind out of me, downhill can be downright painful, so I slipped on my knee brace before heading down to the lake level.

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As we were about to cross the dam on the way back to our parking lot, we were treated to this lovely site of a mother duck and her babies.

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Such a great park!  Do you have a favorite place that you like to visit frequently?