One last hike for 2017

Today was my last women’s hike of 2017, Mother Nature was on our side.  She must have woken up in a good mood and thought “let me warm up the day for the Wandering Diva Striders.”  Sunshine, warm temps, great friends, made for a very fun December day.

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Cindy, Peggy, Hannah, Jan, Joanne

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So much enthusiasm for a “winter” hike, that we had to take two cars!  And, two pictures.

No vistas today, just a little jaunt on the Appalachian Trail, from the lower parking lot to the entrance to Angel’s Rest.

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Then a visit to the Pearis cemetery, which I wrote about in a previous post – Falling into the Woods.  In this cemetery, you will find Revolutionary soldiers buried along with Civil War veterans.

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This was a fun place to hang out and eat lunch.

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From there we walked across the US 460 bridge, so I could show them where the AT crosses.

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Everyone sees the signs on 460, but unless you see a hiker, you have no idea how the trail crosses the road.  That’s because you have to go under the highway.

By the way, we tried waving to all the cars going by and only got one person to wave back.

 

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What goes down must come back up – lots of steps.

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As I introduced everyone this morning, I realized that exercise is what brought us all together.  I used to play tennis with Jan, I met Peggy and Joanne from high energy aerobics, and Hannah from water aerobics.  Cindy has been in my life a while.  I never think of hiking as exercise, but thank goodness for exercise classes and the chance to meet such fabulous women!

Can’t wait to see where we will go in 2018!

Wishing all my blogger friends a very happy, safe, and healthy holiday!

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Falling into the Woods

It’s becoming a routine Friday question for both me and JG – “Where are you hiking this weekend?”  Because of the rain in the forecast, we had not planned to hike at all.  But Saturday morning the sun came up, the rain forecast was moved to late afternoon, so what else could we do?

We agreed that checking out a new section of the AT (Appalachian Trail) might be a good idea.  So we drove to Pearisburg, parked the car and entered the woods.  Right away we discovered the George Pearis Cemetery.

According to the Daughters of the American Revolution:

George Pearis in 1779 resided and was in command of the Pearis Fort on the New River, providing refuge for settlers from hostile Indian attacks. Captain Pearis joined Major Joseph Cloyd in suppressing Tory uprisings in 1780 at Shallow Ford along the Yadkin River in North Carolina. The cemetery is the resting place of Capt. George Pearis the namesake of the town.”

 

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I’m not usually taken with cemeteries, but this one was fascinating.

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Along with the Revolutionary War graves, there are also 4 Confederate soldiers buried here.  The cemetery was within the first 10th of a mile into the hike and we decided if we were going to get in a good walk before the rain, we needed to move on.  But first, I needed to get a shot of this tree.

 

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I thought it gave the cemetery a rather spooky feel as it seemed to be keeping watch over the graves.

Shortly after returning to the AT, you must cross the New River on US 460 before coming to an underpass that takes you to the other side of the road.

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The next entry to the woods begins here.

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After the short rise from the road, the trail became a very easy walk for a couple of miles before descending into a creek bed.  It’s probably the last weekend for the fall colors, and many trees are already bare, but we did manage to capture some of what is left.

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As we got back to the bridge, the clouds were really rolling in and there were a few sprinkles in the air.

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Good sense would say it was time to call it a day, but JG had other plans.  We had about a .5 mile connector road from where we were to the entrance to Angel’s Rest and he does not like to leave that kind of a gap.  So, with a little convincing, he persuaded me to soldier on.  Of course after all the easy hiking, that last mile turned out to be quite a challenge, albeit beautiful.

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Returning to the car required rain jackets, but we did not get too wet and we were happy to be back home when the rain really let loose.

A year ago my hiking was limited by damaged body parts.  What a difference a year make, and how happy am I that I’m back out in the woods where I belong.