Aug. 6, 2017


Vacation Day 9

Hike #28 #52hikechallenge High Knob Trail to fire tower

We packed up camp in the morning and headed back up 33 to the trail head for one last hike.


The group.


Again what won’t Clay do for a picture?


Moth Macro

After the hike we had a picnic lunch at the the roadside overlook and said our goodbyes!

What a relaxing and fun week of camping and exploring with friends!


Till next year…

Aug. 4, 2017


Vacation Day 7

The day started with some pew pew (or bang) Jim and Beth had not shot their new shotgun, I wanted to shoot my 357 and clay brought a fun target 22 with 200 rounds.




The clip is empty Sam!


The main reason we left the southern part of the forest was to drive the well known forest service roads, there were some rock ledges (no pictures, I was spotting) and a little mud.


and some great views. This is Meadow Knob, we finished on Flagpole Knob before heading back to camp!


Butterfly wing macro, just because it was pretty.

Aug. 3, 2017


Vacation Day 6 – Hike 27 #52hikechallenge

We were not happy with last night’s campsite, muddy, bugs, so we moved again.

Clay, Kay and I headed out for a later afternoon hike on the Sawmill Trail. Lots of blown down trees to climb over, and LOTS of bear scat, no luck seeing one.


Sam and I walked down to the lake for the sunset, nice to have a quiet moment with the two of us! I am glad she suggested it.

Aug. 2, 2017


Vacation Day 5 – Moving Day. We left the southern portion of the George Washington National Forest and headed north and into West Virginia. Just after setting up camp and eating a thunderstorm hit us, everyone hid in their camps, Sam, Deb and I played cards when the rain and wind stopped suddenly, the pressure changed and the rain fly was trying to lift straight up off the tent? Very strange…. oh yeah, Sam won several games of Crazy 8 in a row!


Camping with Beth and James? Movie night in the woods. Shaun of the Dead

July 30, 2017


Vacation Day 2 – Staton Creek Falls. A great roadside waterfall that kept going.


You had to bush whack down to see the whole series of falls.

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Then back on the road and lunch at Ben Salem Wayside and this old lock


Canal boats used the lock in the late 1800’s on the North River.


A quick stop at Panther Falls. It was too crowded for us, we watched for a bit and decided to come back later. I am counting it as Hike #24 of #52Hikechallenge, it is a short walk, but I did it 3 times this week, so totaled I am counting it!


The end of the day.

July 29, 2017


Vacation Day 1 – A foggy on top Brush Mountain deep in the George Washington National Forest, in fact only 1 truck passed our site in 3 days.


Camping with Beth and Jim mean you do things like, I wonder if this leads to a overlook as we bush wack through head high brush.


It didn’t, but at least there were butterflies.


Camping with Beth and Jim also mean you eat well – dessert? Bananas Foster flambe.

July 8, 2017


We slept in and decided what to do… we had several miles back to the truck and a side trail for a waterfall – Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields – so we started back.

Hike #23 of #52hikechallenge


We enjoyed a lunch and quick swim in the cold water and finished up… the threat of rain and tired legs, we decided to come back and try the Black Balsam Knob from a different trail head next time.


After dropping the packs at the truck, we did the short hike to Lower Falls – enjoyed a swim and headed home.


through 7 tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 10 out of 10 weekend!


A Land Cruiser and clouds….

July 7, 2017


Time for a backpacking trip, we had wanted to do Black Balsam Knob area so I decided to lengthen the loop at start at Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I knew we were in trouble right away, I didn’t have a map, or mileage idea of the loop, them the trails were not blazed at all… within 2 miles we ran into a family walking the wrong direction…. I had a general description of what I wanted to do…


After leaving the Graveyard Fields trail, we started climbing on the Mountains to Sea trail, and I knew we had to descend again to cross the Yellow Prang, and we stayed on the “obvious” trail, which only completely disappeared in this mire….


again, with no blaze to follow we backtracked (only got lost once doing that) and made our way back down to find a camp site


a very peaceful night – made even easier since I brought a camp stove and Sam’s favorite freeze dried meal – only to discover I didn’t include matches…. doh!

Hike #22 of #52hikechallenge

PS it was Kodak’s first backpacking trip.

July 2, 2017


As Calvin told Hobbes, the days are packed. Swimming, paddling, card games, and off road bocce.




a quick side trip for ice cream


and for the second evening in a row, a twilight paddle, last night was for fireworks, tonight for the sunset.




Sam poses for James to create an epic Instagram picture