Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Friday, February 1, 2013

I "Walked" On The Appalachian Trail :)

We are home. Oh you didn't know we were gone??? Well we were and now we are home.
Luckily we are home and I will tell you what I mean by that later on or in part 2 of this blog.  Where were we?  We went to Damascus Virginia to check out a Cradle of Forestry run camp ground to camp host in.  It is called Bear Tree and it is in the Appalachian Mtns.

We were driving on the mountain road to get to the park and Art said, "there is a sign for the Appalachian Trail." I was so excited!! I knew it ran right next to this camp ground but didn't know for sure we would see it. I am so fascinated by this trail. I am on my 3rd book about the trail and the hikers. If I was younger, a lot younger I would really like to do part of this trail. But, my back and the fact I am soft as a pillow I wouldn't get too far. But that didn't keep me from jumping out of the car and walking on the trail just to get the feel of it. So here is what I saw.....

I think it is a little blurry because I was so excited I couldn't hold the camera steady.
Then I walked over to the get the white blaze on the sign that everyone looks for when hiking the trail. I read that they have to be 6" long and 2" wide.

I guess a camp was up ahead I'm not sure. OK I didn't really care, I just was so excited to get this photo.
Then I DID it. I hiked ha ha....about 20 feet on the trail and took this picture. I could have walked on for miles, ok a hundred more feet, but Art and the dogs were waiting for me in the car, so I was hurrying.

You see the plant in the front with the long leaves? That is what they call Mountain Laurel. It is wild and we know it as a Rhododendron plant. They told me it blooms in the summer. That must look like heaven all those blooms because it is everywhere.  Just stunning even in winter.
This was the part of the trail that was across the road from the trail in above photo. It came down and crossed this bridge, crossed over the road, and then into the woods. You can see how matted down the area is, I'm sure many many hikers have camped here by this stream. The sound of the water was just mesmerizing.

This is the little foot bride and stream. It was very cold and windy.
Here you can see the bare land with matted down leaves. Can't you just imagine camping here?  Wow!
We drove on up this fun, curvy, winding mountain road. I was driving and in the Mini Cooper the steering is so tight and amazing you didn't have to break for curves just buzz around them. I loved it!  Art didn't!

When I downloaded my photos onto the computer this one was a favorite. Look at the coloring even in winter.   And this was the road we were driving on with all the curves.
While driving on the road, it followed this mountain stream all the way up the mountain. I told Art if I had a home on this I could sit out there for hours listening to the water rush over the rocks.
 
Can you hear it? I can only imagine how cold it was. There was still lots of snow melting from the top of the mountain. 

I was wishing I hadn't volunteered to drive when we hit all this. It was mushy and slick, you know how the snow pulls a car when it is slush....not fun!!
This was the other part that was fun, there were trees or branches down all over the road. It reminded me of the movie Twister when the combine and cows were falling in the road. It was right then left then right then left, made for an interesting obstacle course. 
OK, now we are in bear country. Black bears to be exact. "This" was new to me. I was asking Art, "they are hibernating, right?" I couldn't help it, every little snap you kind of jumped. I have never been around bears before, and I kind of figured with the cold and all they might be a little hungry and grumpy. But Yogi never appeared so we were fine. Here is one of the camp sites. They are paved and surrounded by Mountain Laurel, very private.

The snow was about all melted but still there in many shaded parts. 
Here is the one of the camp host sites. It was very big and they had built a little deck. You also sell firewood here.

I can just see our fiver and swing sitting here on this site. We are hoping to go here the summer of 2014.

                 I am going to end with that. I have lots more to share but it is late.                                             So from Indiana, we send hugs and best wishes.

12 comments:

  1. Looks like a great place to host at.

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    1. Yes, it did. We are anxious to host there. But not until 2014.

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  2. BEAR! No bear,no bear. Time to carry a bell or sing to yourself :) That's my plan...nice park!

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    1. Oh, don't worry. I will probably be armed with a whistle, blow horn, and mega phone to yell for help.
      But oh what a beautiful park it was.

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  3. It is rare for an eastern black bear to attack anyone, but you have to be careful if you see a mother with cubs. Black bears will usually make snuffling noises to scare you off, and that noise will surely scare you off! They don't want an encounter with a human if they can possibly avoid it. An encounter with a human's food supply or cooler, or garbage can or bird feeder is a different matter.

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    1. Yep, any kind of noise would scare me off!!! Well we have something in common then, I don't want an encounter either LOL. And the cooler, garbage can, and bird feeder are on their own.

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  4. Beautiful, Tammy ... haha 20 feet! my kinda hike

    Bears kinda scare me a bit....;) what a great trip but coooooold

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    1. I like to hike, not the over 2,000 required to do the entire Appalachian Trail, but a little bit if fun.
      I probably won't even see a bear after all the worry.

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  5. Such a beautiful area. I could sit by that stream and listen to water tumble over the rocks all day too.

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    1. There is nothing more soothing than water running over rocks. I would get nothing done if that was close to our house. It was so beautiful.

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  6. Love this post! I remember well the very same excitement the first time I set foot on this beloved footpath. I still devour every AT narrative I can find. I've yet to see my dream of a thru-hike fulfilled but spend every free moment section hiking. You are neither too old not too soft. You've no idea what you're capable of. In the meantime, on days you can't get out, check out the podcast I host: All Who Wander. It's available for free in I-Tunes, at Zune.net and at www.allwhowander.us. Make sure you listen to the episode in which I interview Cimarron, the 88 year old thru-hiker. Hope you enjoy! Happy Trails!

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  7. Thank you David and welcome to the blog. I will have to tune in and listen to your pod cast it sounds very interesting.

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