Inspired by Denis, I decided to do a trip report of my hiking adventure last weekend at Mountain Lake in Giles County, VA. Unfortunately, I'm not nearly the storyteller that Denis is but I did remember a camera and I made sure the batteries were charged.
Before the trip started, I spent a chilly afternoon at the soccer fields and watched my daughter (5 years old) score her first goal. It doesn't have much to do with the rest of my trip but I'm just telling as many people as possible. After the game we headed up to Mountain Lake for the Octoberfest activities. It was too dark to catch the sunset but I did get to see my first bear. It was a fairly good sized one just cruising down the road.
That evening I limited myself to just a few Spaten at the Octoberfest (and a few pounds of sausage) so I could wake up early enough to catch a sunrise hike. The hike was a short 3/4 mile, 500' vertical climb to Bald Knob, located right behind the lodge. The views were incredible (click the image for a larger version).
The morning was quite chilly. I'd guess low to mid-20's based on the fact that my coffee froze in my cup by the time I reached the top. The 12" of snow that I dreamed about didn't materialize however.
Later that morning my wife and I hiked to Bear Cliffs.
The cliffs were very interesting. The 50' to 100+' rock structures would make for great climbing and spelunking but we weren't being that adventuresome. Also there was concern about what might be living down there. The hike back took us by an old horse barn and the lake itself.
That's me on top of the rock. During the summer, that rock is a favorite diving spot for the braver guests of the resort but I wasn't about to jump in.
Sunday Morning I took one last hike. The Chestnut Trail/War Spur trail makes a great easy 2 mile hike that offers both great views and a trip through a pretty rare virgin Hemlock forest.
Sadly, many of the Hemlocks are dying rapidly care of the Woolly Adelgid that's sucking them dry. It just so happens that my neighbor is part of the team that is trying to treat as many of the Hemlocks as possible. He's also responsible for cutting down the dead trees.
There are several more pics HERE
for anyone who's interested.