May 27, 2012
Old Rag Mountain, VA
7.2 miles when it was all said and done. We started where most people end the trek, to avoid the morning crowd, hiking up the fire trail and steadily climbing 3,288 feet. While I like to hike at a pace that lets me look in other directions besides down, Tim likes to huff it into a workout and finish as fast as he can. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for enjoying the scenery, but I was able to snap some shots at enough places to give you an idea of Virginia’s most difficult day trip.
June 11, 2011
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Deciding not to take on Virginia’s crowded hiking staple, Old Rag, my boyfriend and I opted for the solitude of The Hughes River Trail. After several blisters and some unexpected rain, we decided to save the summit of Richardson Mountain for another trip and were happy with our one night, out-and-back route. Cutting the hike short, it was a tough 9 miles (total) over a gradual incline and rocky underfoot, but swimming in our own private waterfall and natural pool was well worth it.
It was just the get-away we were looking for although our encounter with a black bear at 3AM made the night pretty exciting…
August 9-11, 2011
Monongehela National Forest, West Virginia
My favorite hike to date. Painful but rewarding.
We parked at campgrounds of Tea Creek Trail and stayed the first night there. Then at dawn we packed up and hiked along the creek and an old railroad. We made camp at the first shelter and explored the area. It was like paradise, I didn’t want to leave. It would have been perfect had there been any fish bigger than the minnows to catch for supper. Since there are no fires allowed on the AT, we cranked on our range and made due with rice and packaged salmon. The next day we filled up our waters near the stream and started day two. We hiked through tall grass, forest, railroads, giant razor sharp weeds, meadows and more forest, before getting chased down the mountain, when my mom kicked a stump full of bees. Only Raymond was stung. Great success.