Fall Hiking

Let’s see. What to do on a beautiful fall day that promises sunshine, warm temperatures, and clear views?  You guessed it – go for a hike!

Today’s hike to Buffalo Mountain was low key.  The road had been repaired so I can’t complain about tearing up my car getting up to the parking lot.  There was no one else at the mountain top – so all the views were ours for the choosing.  No swarm of flies, no bears, no snakes.  Today was just a relaxing hike with a friend, to one of the best views in the area.

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Tried to capture the bees on the flowers – but they must have been camera shy.

What did you do on this beautiful fall day??

Back on the Trail!

A break in the heat, led to an early morning hike today.  Continuing our trek on the New River Trail, we hiked from Fries (pronounced Freeze???) to Byllesby Dam.  We have now completed 45 miles of the 57 mile trail.

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The trail beginning in Fries.

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The first part of the trail was so beautiful that we had to stop about every 5 minutes so JG could take pictures.

DSCN4181DSCN4182Noticing all the rocks in the river, we decided it would NOT be ideal for kayaking.

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We got to Fries Junction – where the trail branches off into two trails.

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Once we passed the junction, the trail got a little creepy.  First there was this:

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Somehow, I managed to walk right beside it and not even see it until JG said “well that’s a snake.”  Fortunately, it was dead.  I’ve been hiking for 5 years and this is the first time I’ve seen a snake.  But of course, I was much more alert for the rest of the hike.

Shortly after seeing the snake, we heard some unidentifiable noises coming from the woods.  Most likely birds, but we were a little on edge so it seemed creepier than it probably was.

The river became slower as we neared the dam and that made for ideal breeding ground for whatever likes to grow in marshy areas.  We did spot this stoic heron.

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And this sophisticated web.

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But then it got a little boring, and we were happy to see the car waiting for us at the dam.

Going back to Fries to pick up the other car, we decided to eat at this little diner that we discovered on a previous trip.

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Maybe the bread was a little stale, and the tomato not totally fresh, but we were so hungry that we happily ate our BLT’s and watched the rain come.  One thing I’ve learned, is that if you want to do something in Southwest Virginia, you have to do it early in the morning or you will have to battle Mother Nature.

The Wandering Diva Striders

A few months ago, someone suggested I start a women’s hiking club. Hiking with other women meant I could hike during the week when hubby was at work.  As I started kicking around the idea, I approached my retired friends and realized there was a lot of enthusiasm from this group.  I also heard from some of my working friends, who may have to play hooky to join us, but asked to be included anyway.  The hiking club grew quickly and it seems like I’m always adding names to the list.

Coming up with a name for our club proved challenging.  We wanted something that described us without being too cutesy.  At one time I had 5 names in our title. Making an executive decision, I settled on “Wandering Diva Striders!”

Not a fan of hiking alone, I really need at least one more person to go with me.  The great thing about having such a large list is that finding at least one more person just got easier.

Last week, Joann and I hiked Hungry Mother State Park in Marion.  We did the Lake Trail which is about 6 miles of fairly easy hiking.  The weather was beautiful, we were peeling off layers in no time.

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Today was equally warm, sunny and perfect for hiking.  I sent out another SOS – who’s in?  This time four of us took the relatively easy, short hike up Buffalo Mountain.  This was my fourth trip up this mountain.  I keep going back because the 45 minute, 1.15 mile hike has the most incredible 360 view of any hike I’ve been on to date. You truly feel like you are on the very top of the world.

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Pictures cannot capture the breathtaking views and the exhilarating feeling of being on top of this mountain.  But these faces express how we all felt. . .

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Pure Joy!!!

After reluctantly descending from this great moment – we enjoyed a delicious lunch of the freshest kind at the Floyd County Store, which is famous for it’s Friday Night jamborees.

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Perfect ending to a perfect day!  Thanks ladies!