Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Whats in your Pack?

We had a nice sunset I thought these contrails were a little different...

I'm still getting things squared away after my trip cleaning out my day pack....
What do you carry in your day pack when you go hiking?? I keep 
the usual like water, food, or snack, a bandanna for sweat can also be used to stop blood flow if I get an unjury---

Top L > R: Cutters Bug Repel, 2 peppermints, blister pak, mini bins and compass bracelet, handheld fan,
Middle: whistle  Lower L > R: first aide kit, cling, bandanna, electrolite, benedryl, sunscreen, map and compass.

 I tend to keep my pack light due to my backpacking dayz....but if you're going for a hike of any length some things are essential.  I also tend to lean toward some emergency supplies....like I take along neosporin, band aids, at least one gauze square and some tension wrapping to hold it in place if need be.  

I take a blister pak, for obvious reasons,  some electrolyte tabs in case I lose too much salt, a very small tube of sunscreen,  a couple of sugary candies in case of low blood sugar...I take along a couple benedryl in case of an allergic reaction and some solid Cutters to keep bugs off me. 

I always take a map or trail guide of where Im going and a compass!!  I make sure I know what direction I'm parked in, I do a quick check before heading off to orient myself to which direction I will be hiking and what direction is my way back!.
I take a whistle, in case I get off the trail and get disoriented maybe another hiker will hear it if I blow it...I sometimes carry a long sleeve shirt and tie it round my waist and I take along a small battery operated fan to help cool me in summer!! I use my small opera binoculars to help ID  birds and look for distant landmarks when in the mountains!

I keep it all in this drawstring pouch and it weights 7 ounces! It goes in the pack along with my  food, water, and any other stuff...I take snacks for my dogs along too...

I wear a hat to keep the sun off my head...I found this hat on the road in Arizona!  Literally almost ran over it...I like the fact it can go right in the washing machine!!

 I have been using this sling type bag, no I didn't go to Newberry College....but Im thinking of going back to the regular style backpack, this one shifts too much when rock hopping...I think Ill pick one up at Goodwill! I had a nice one and sold it on ebay~duh just as soon as you get rid of something you need it!

I enjoy hiking but you gotta hike smart!  What do you take I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting that you take along with you...oh and sometimes I take Mace with me!!  I should take it every time I hike but I forget to take it out of the van sometimes...

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Best... till Last

I am now home just fired up the Keurig and had a nice cup of coffee, but I wanted to finish blogging about my much needed and ever so appreciative of getting the chance to do this road trip!! 
I left off at the natural Bridge I did that on Saturday...and Sunday was a driving day to get me back south via I-81 S to I-26 E through Kingsport, TN then into NC near Brevard/Hendersonville. The leaf color was still awesome!

 I planned to attend  the Tour'de Falls in Dupont State Forest in NC.  The whole thing is put on by the Friends of the Forest a very aggressive Volunteer group and they do 2 of these tours a year.  The history of the Dupont forest is connected to the chemical industry as the name implies...you can Google it up for more info I will hit the highlights!! OH---- these falls locations have been used in movies such as Last of the Mohicans, as well as Hunger Games!

from the web 

The tour included a ride on small gravel roads in a school bus  with lots of other like minded folks I enjoyed the company of for the day.  

MANY OF MY PHOTOS OF THIS TRIP ARE MISSING But scroll down to see what I do have. 

The forest is so packed with trails and WATERFALLS!! There's 6 on the property along with 2 lakes and lots of creeks, rivers, and TREES!

The first stop on our tour was the Triple falls! Its  huge each drop is about 30 ft..and it was gushing with water..

the upper levels....

some people for scale...

next on the tour was High Falls! and its just that...100ft! 

Tons of water!!  Notice the people in the lower right

I did make some videos I will upload when I get a chance...one cool thing about high falls is
It tumbles over the edge after passing under the covered bridge that we rumbled over in our little bus..

The 3rd on our tour was Bridal Veil...it has the veil ...

and then a long slide down!!

I slept that night at the Black Forest Family Campground..an awesome place to camp clean, roomy, fully loaded and pretty with a real friendly family owning and operating it they even have a pancake breakfast on their huge front porch on Sunday mornings..

Then Monday Casey and I hiked to the Hooker Falls it was not a long hike, maybe only 0.6 mi ...it was really a nice falls small but lots of water and quite wide!!

Lastly Casey slept in the cool shade in the van while I hiked the 2.8 mi to Grassy Creek Falls, kinda of disappointed in this as it should have been called a slide, but I did enjoy the hike and it was very pretty!!

Then I drove home!!! OMG I had a blast and could keep going forever!!

...and life goes on. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Natural Bridge-7th Of the Wonders!

Since time is a factor I turned South on Friday after traveling only a 1/3 of the 106 mile Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP. On the way back down I drove I-81 It sort of Parallels the Parkway except its straight and you can drive 70mph I needed to make up some mileage...but I did stop at one attraction.  I've been here before with my Mom many years ago..now its all touristy and crowded but I stopped because back when we visited in the late 70's I didn't get any decent photos of it...I think I had one of those 126 drop in film cameras at that time--
Its billed as one of the 7 wonders, funny how there must be 1,000's of 7 wonders?

but in the ticket and gift shop area I found two of these! 

The penny Collector machine! I turned 2 this time--

The Natural Bridge is a wonder for sure,,,215 ft high 100 ft wide!

Painting by David Johnson c-1860 
from Wikipedia my photos lost

it was a cavern with an underground river-- years of erosion collapsed the cavern walls and the bridge remains.  It was purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George III and he planned to make a tourist attraction of it! 

painting by Fredirck Edwin Church c-1852

Later he sold it to the a WOLTZ family and if you look closely you can see Woltz family names carved in the rock 1883...you can also see G.W. for this landmark was surveyed by none other than George Washington himself!!

This is his initials carved in the rock face. 

along with the bridge there is a replica of a Mohican Village, it was the Mohicans who first settled the Bridge area..artifacts have been found on this site.  This hut is covered with bark!

some pelts they had around...and Casey went for the butt sniff..ugh.

There is a small but scenic waterfall upstream from the bridge...

We enjoyed it although I think its pricey @ $18...there is a discount if your AARP, AAA etc...$2.20 and there is a free shuttle ride if you want to avoid the 138 steps back up.. Almost everyone along the walk had been introduced to Casey so when we asked if we could ride the shuttle back up the driver asked the other riders if we could ride... they all said, "YES come on in Casey"...no one knew my name  I was just the lady who was with Casey! ....lol.


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mile Post 1.0

...and still northward we go our intended Destination Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive! The Blue Ridge Parkway terminates and the S-NP begins..the only difference is an entry fee!! 

Meanwhile before we reach mile post 1.0, we stop at Humpback Rocks..we didnt do the hike to the rock formations....you just can't do it all ya know!  But I got a photo from long distance of some of the rocks up there...

But we (Casey and I) toured the Old  Farm Village across the road--

Then entered the park! the Ranger stamped my passport!! And I think Ill have to swing east to get my Blue Ridge Parkway stamp--- ALL week I kept forgetting to get it stamped!! I may encounter the Parkway again before I'm headed back to SC.  As I type this I'm near Bristol TN!  

taken from the Skyline Drive.  Thats 2 things off my bucket list! Photographing Mabry Mill in fall foliage and making it to Shenandoah Valley!



Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Friday, October 17, 2014

America Alive and Well part II

After leaving Mabry Mill behind, I continued on North on the parkway...the scenery never disappointed!

and we camped at Rocky Knob campground, its $16 with no hook ups, there is a comfort station but only cold water!! No showers.  BOY it was cold too...we had every blanket in the van on us!  

Next day we headed out pretty early! And I stopped in the small town of  Floyd, VA and had coffee and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Restaurant where all the locals eat! Its all boots and ponytails, and that's the lawyers coming from the courthouse across the street!.

This little town is 6 miles off the parkway, its an original town with no McDonald's, no Walmart, its a real American town where farmers and lawyers live in harmony...~Back on the Parkway after a hearty meal which included grits, (not milled at Mabry, I asked) I took a hike to walk off the jelly I had on the toast...
there's all kinds of points of interest to stop and check out...and hikes galore! This hike took me under the parkway!

I thought it was cool the way its constructed! Many overlooks to admire the Blue mountains in the distance...

the reds were awesome 

another awesome old structure...so very prevalent here in the southeast...

This looks like a 4 over 4, which is a house with 4 rooms upstairs and 4 down! 

and this is a fine example of why its called the Blue Ridge Mountains..

Stopped to see these 2 old fellows...

Many of the overpasses are made of these awesome arched stone bridges...most were constructed by the CCC back in the days...

and American Chestnuts!! 

since I have done quite a bit of backpacking on the Appalachian Trial I was happy to set foot on it again this time with my new pal Casey...

we had lunch here where the trail runs alongside the parkway, it meanders back and forth around the parkway for quite a lot of miles..this sign is the marker for the trail...

we had a fresh tomato, some humus with whole wheat crackers, pineapple juice and this lovely seat to enjoy it on...

Its hard to turn away from the scenery and keep driving...


(I lost some of my photos some of these were taken on different seasons)
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.