Tag Archives: Hiking

Appalachian trail marker

Shenandoah – let’s go hiking! (and sketching!)

After arriving at noon, I was able to take in 2 very nice hikes.  Started off with Snead Farm Dickey Ridge loop, 3.6 miles.  Should have been easy, like it was rated, but I was surprised to find myself huffing after a short distance.  I realized we were at an elevation of 2,400’, not what I’m used to, so I just took my time and remembered it’s not a race!  There was hardly anyone else on this trail, which was a great way to enjoy the park and the many views. Lunch had a wonderful view which I have not done justice with this quick sketch. Sorry!

Lunch view fromSnead Farm Dickey Ridge loop

Lunch view from Snead Farm Dickey Ridge loop

Stopped for a quick sketch of these bloodroot flowers, coming out to welcome me!  The half opened leaf wrapped around the stem will open fully soon.
Blood root flower

Got in a second shorter hike, Fox Hollow, which included a cemetery and a pink feather. (cardinal maybe?) Red/ pink feather

The second day, I got out early and beat the crowd to Mary’s Rock.  This hike includes a portion of the Appalachian Trail, so I was happy to get this pic of an AT trail marker with the appropriate headgear. 😉   Appalachian trail marker

 

Sat down at the top and did a few sketches.

View from Mary’s Rock

View from Mary’s Rock

View at Mary’s Rock

View at Mary’s Rock

Also got a second shorter hike in after lunch at Skyland (where I stayed) to Stony Man. This trail was the most crowded and I used the horse trail (no horses on it yet) to go back down, which avoided most of the people.  What can I say? I appreciate the solitude of hiking.

My last scheduled day, Wednesday, was going to rain ALL day, so I checked out early, and caught the view from a few overlooks along my way out, even got another quick sketch in.  Will have to add color later!

Pinnacle overlook

Pinnacle overlook

I definitely would love to return here and complete some more of the 28 (!) hikes I saved! Thank you Shenandoah! 💕

Shenandoah Park map

Shenandoah National Park

Very excited to try some new hiking trails in a National Park that has much natural beauty. Here’s a map for you, I didn’t really know much about it until I started researching hike ideas.

I thought it would be simple to choose a couple trails that suit my ability and provide great views or a waterfall, but I’ve only narrowed it down to 28! And I’ll only have a couple days there!
Oh well, I guess a return visit will be needed. 😉Shenandoah Park map

Hikers shovel

I choose this one!

I’ve decided to give overnight backpacking a serious try.  There’s lots of gear needed, and even gear that you’d prefer not to think about!  (ahem, toilet stuff) One necessary item is a shovel, so I went online to research. After reading these rave reviews, I just knew I had to have this one! 😁. Hikers shovel

Old stone wall at Prompton St Pk

The joy of autumn hiking!

It was a decent Sunday, so I thought I’d try a Pennsylvania hike for a change. Not – a rocky one like Hawk Mtn – but something different.  The AllTrails app lists a 5 mile hike on East Shore trail, Eagle Pass and Cliff Trail at Prompton State Park as ‘moderate’. Only an hour away, so off I went.

The joy of autumn 🍂 hiking! Crisp leaves crunched underfoot, frightening a flock of turkeys as I approached. The well worn path was hidden beneath the colorful carpet. This caused me to retrace my steps a couple times to return to the marked trail.

So happy to enjoy the lovely colors and feel of autumn!

Old stone wall at Prompton St Pk

Love old stone walls!

Prompton State Park

Heading downhill, these stone ledges concerned me at first, but looking back at them, I can see how they are terraced, making it an easy drop!

Top of Roaring Brook Falls

Adirondack car camping – and a trip up memory lane

After car camping with a friend in the Adirondacks last month, I knew I wanted to return and try it alone. So recently, after a very spur of the moment decision, I made camp reservations for 2 nights near Lake Placid. Planning solo made me much more cautious about what I needed and what to bring.  Also, even though the days would be warm and sunny, it was going to be cold at night.

On the drive up, the views were so gorgeous, as the trees were just beginning to wear their autumn colors. Stopped near Tupper Lake for a quick sketch.

Tupper Lake

A tiny island in Tupper Lake

I arrived to camp late afternoon, with just enough time for a quick walk at High Falls Gorge.  Yes, it costs $, is very touristy and only a mile long, but it really packs a powerful experience in that short walk.

The next day, my plan was to hopefully find a waterfall that I was fortunate to experience in my early twenties. Back then, three others and myself hiked to the top on a hot summer day and swam in pools at the top. It was such a perfect event that I have always wanted to return, but didn’t know the name or even where exactly it was.  I was told Roaring Brook Falls sounded like what I was looking for.  (Thanks Jamey!) And it was!

After parking, as I followed the sign for the top of the falls, each step made me more sure that this was the place. At the top, there were the pools we swam in, and there was the view! Wow.

I sat and sketched, and then did the short walk to the bottom of the falls. Not much water right now, but the memories were as crystal clear as the water.

Top of Roaring Brook Falls

Sketched while relaxing at the top, color added at home. The view of Mount Marcy was an added surprise!

Top of Roaring Brook Falls

Top of Roaring Brook Falls looking back. The water was crystal clear, not at all how my sketch ended up!

Roaring Brook Falls - at the base

Roaring Brook Falls – at the base

It was quite cold (yes, 30°!) the first night, but I doubled up on nightclothes and was plenty warm the second night.

It was an easy hike and I’m so happy to have found it again!

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hike

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hike

Earlier this month I was looking for a decent hike on my way to Virginia. I found it at Hawk Mountain. This refuge for birds of prey was founded in 1934 by Rosalie Edge, who saw the impact of raptor hunting in the area. With 2,600 acres, this is now a research center, a learning facility and one of the best places to view the annual fall hawk migration.

So I was in, of course! I arrived ready to hike and see some hawks! At the very beginning, I tripped and skinned my knee. No problem, I thought, just get going. Aptly named, The River of Rocks trail was only slightly challenging. So I decided to add a short loop since the entire day was devoted to this place. That loop was followed by a steep ascent of 900 feet, with no switchbacks, which took a while as I had to stop every 200 ft or so to catch my breath! Whew! But I pushed on, as I was looking forward to arriving at the top of the ridge and the final 1.5 miles as I thought “skyline” meant you’d have a view. Instead, the last portion consisted of giant boulders and cautious footing, meaning forget the view! Just finish this thing!

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hike

Hawk Mountain hike along ridge. The red circle indicates the next trail marker!

The very last climb was the hardest for me, as I was tired, bruised and achy.  I asked a younger lady who had just passed me, to please hold my hike poles and backpack, as I couldn’t get a leg up onto the last giant boulder with them.

Now, finally, at the top, feeling safe and catching my breath, there were the magnificent views.  Except – only one hawk was viewed that day.  No – really! The day before they spotted 37 raptors, and on my day, only one!  Not terribly disappointed as I felt pretty smug that I was able to complete 5.5 darn difficult miles!

Here are sketches started on site, but completed and color added at home. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hike Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hike

Stay tuned to hear about my latest hiking adventure!

Cobble Lookout view

Car Camping in the Adirondacks

After a one night test run at our local State Park, my friend and I figured we’d go up north and challenge ourselves with 2 nights of car camping and a couple hikes.  Little did we know we were following the tail end of hurricane Isaias!
So our Tuesday drive and setting up camp was in the rain and for most of the evening, a downpour.  Very lucky a friend insisted I borrow their 9x9x6’ht tent! Very lucky. We were still soaked just setting it up, but once we settled down, we could wring out a few things and enjoy some snacks and wine. Car camping
After our coffee Wednesday morning, we headed for Cascade Mountain, a 6 mile hike (in and out) with 1,900’ elevation gain.  My Alltrails app described it as “moderate”, and I disagree, although maybe I would agree with (a lot!) more hiking experience.  Boulders or bigger rocks were found along much of the trail, making each step another piece of a climbing puzzle.  Add to that, mud in between the rocks, making slipping a real possibility. (Which we each did at least once!).

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”  Henry David Thoreau

Cascade mountain view

The panoramic views at the top of the surrounding mountains were well worth the rain (yes, again!) and mud.   The rain mostly stopped, and the mist and clouds opened up a bit so we could quickly enjoy that view.  The wind, however, was very inhospitable and we headed downhill a bit before taking a break.  No sketch was done at the top, as my supplies would have been blown away!

What with snack stops and being careful and stepping aside to let people pass, it took us 7 hours. We had planned to do a quick walk after at High Falls Gorge, but it was closed due to all the rain, so – back to camp.  We enjoyed hotdogs grilled on the blazing campfire, and for me, more wine! 🍷

Thursday we went to Wilmington and hiked Cobble Lookout, rated easy, which we both wanted after yesterday.  Really quite easy, with 3 miles out and back, and only 240’ elev. gain. Another fantastic view with wonderful sunshine!  And finally a chance to get a quick couple of sketches in.

Cobble Lookout view

Cobble Lookout view

Sketches in the Glen

A heart-shaped surprise

Walked the Glen today, 40°, the snow has started melting and last fall’s autumn leaves are peeking out.  I sketched quickly, adding color at home.   Check out my favorite tree on the right, just noticed the heart shape! 

That’s what sketching does – helps you notice details, things you’d otherwise miss. Sketches in the Glen

Here’s a screen shot from the Alltrails app of my typical Glen walk- 1.7 miles in 40 minutes. I’m not a speed walker! 😉. All Trails - Glen hike