The Lost Girls

You would think after being on a trail 3 times in the past, that one wouldn’t have any trouble navigating that trail again (even though it was a year since the last time I was there).  But here’s the thing, if a trail is not CLEARLY marked, I can easily take the wrong path.

Today, surrounded by five fellow hikers, we took off for what should have been a short 3 mile round trip to High Rocks, in Wytheville, VA.

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Smiling with anticipation: Hannah, Peggy, Cindy, me, Jan and Sharon.

Shortly into the hike, I felt like something was not right.  It’s called Sand Mountain, because there is sand on the trail, presumably from sandstone rocks.  So my first clue was that I didn’t see any sand.  I also didn’t see a road that I remembered running parallel to the trail.  And, though I do remember a lot of vegetation closing in on the trail, I did not remember all the thorny bushes that rubbed up against us as we walked on.  Finally, at one point, I convinced everyone to turn back and try again.  About half way back, we ran into 3 other hikers and we excitedly asked if they knew where the main trail was.  Unfortunately, it was their first time and they were making the same mistake as we did.  But they were young, and looked like they knew what they were doing, so we followed them.

For a while, we took turns following each other, looking for the real deal.  Jan, who came equipped with a phone app with GPS, could see our trail just to the left of where we were.  But, there was no easy way to get to it.  We had to walk through brambles, brush and all kinds of rocks and obstacles.  Finally, after many detours, we made our way to the proper trail.  I recognized it immediately and was so excited that we would not have to turn back without completing the hike.

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Yay, we made it!!  Only took us a little over 2 hours and 1.5 extra miles.

But it was fun at the top, and though I’ve seen it before, it’s still fun to hang out on the rocks.

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It was another beautiful, January day and I was so happy to be outside.

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The trip down was much shorter.  When we got to the bottom we saw where we made our mistake.  If you go there, from the parking lot, walk between the two boulders and then go to the LEFT!  If the trail is not straight and you don’t see sand, turn around and try again.  Don’t bother looking for tree markings, there aren’t any.

For some reason, my “lost girls” were not discouraged.  We had a great time and they talked about going out again.  It’s always an adventure, and we always manage to get back home.  So I guess I’ll get busy planning the next outing.

Hiking Fun!

What a fun weekend!  The kids were home and we managed not one, but two hikes!  The weather was incredible, the fall colors are peeking out, and the company was the best!

Saturday we went to Gatewood Park and hiked about 4.5 miles around the lake.  The big question of the day was – Where’s the Lake?

Having just been there in May when the lake was full:

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You can imagine my surprise that this photo was taken from around the same spot.

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No matter, we still had an excellent hike that we all enjoyed.

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Even this guy.

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While that was fairly easy terrain with limited ups and downs, today’s hike provided a bit more of a challenge.

High Rocks on Sand Mountain, offers a good workout without being too strenuous, AND it’s only 2.7 miles round trip, AND it has views!

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So fun to climb on the rocks to grab the best views, but we also just sat and enjoyed being on the mountain top with no one else around.  We did not meet any other hikers until we were almost back to the parking lot.

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I’m glad these two learned to appreciate hiking while they are young – it took me 50+ years to realize how cool the mountains could be.

2 hikes in 2 days and 0 pain (knees – good, hip – fine, back – no problem) must be the water aerobics.  Can’t wait for next weekend.

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