Friends, I hope we haven’t lost you. I know we’ve been working on our 1965 Clark Cortez and it is true that renovating an old vehicle and traveling in it are our dreams! However, it is also true that we have not put aside hiking and camping — That will forever be a part of who we are.
Andrew and I took to this particular day hike at the end of April, and because I’ve gotten a bit backdated on posts, this will be a trail story told primarily through pictures.
First, here is information on Jefferson National Forest’s Cove Mountain:
- It was an almost 10-mile loop
- 1,840-foot elevation gain
- Level Three of Five difficulty
This hike packed all — a waterfall, walk along the AT, and amazing views. However, the one thing we didn’t pack was a fishing rod, which Andrew regretted the moment we stepped from the car and found signs notifying us that the waters were stocked with trout. Poor English fisherman — He looked on in sadness at Jennings Creek, imagining what could have been . . .
But we were here to hike!
Taking to the blue blaze Little Cove Mountain trail, numerous moths flitted around us before landing briefly on dogwood petals.
A few yards later, we followed an unblazed trail to the right, which passed a waterfall.At the time, the waterfall seemed a bit of a letdown because there was not a clear view and no way to climb to the base due to a steep drop to the bottom that had no trail. This is why I initially suggested walking this trail in autumn or winter so that there are less leaves on the trees, which allows for better waterfall views. However, here is where this post has been updated: Two years later in March, Andy and I found ourselves on this same trail and so we decided to trek off the path to the cascade base. It was steep but not un-doable and the reward was a beautiful waterfall . . .
Be forewarned, as with any hike, snakes love to sunbathe on rocks and we did find one at the base when we approached . . .
Still, hiking down to see this beauty was totally worth it and made us appreciate that earlier view of the full-length waterfall from above . . .
Now back to my initial post: Venturing back to the trail, we took the uphill path.Here, the forest came alive with various blooming flowers and chirping birds — even a deer peeked out of shadows from above.
In a little over three miles, we reached a view to the southeast.
Hiking upward still meant the sun shined bright and hot on us as we took to the Appalachian Trail, passing a little snake before more blue-mountain views . . .These sights dropped into Cove Creek Valley. Past that, there were remnants of a forest fire from July 2008, though numerous pines were reclaiming their rightful territory and were slowly growing back . . .
We followed the trail of flowers where butterflies danced in front of us, zooming in and out of the blooms to suck more nectar . . .With one last glance from our mountaintop, we ventured down the mountain, soon crossing little Cove Creek where the shadows wrapped around us once more . . .
This hike left me with an appreciation for shorter drives that have us in the forest faster.I’m also appreciative for the change of seasons in Virginia because the end of April means summer will be here, and that of course means we can get out to camp.
Oh, and I guess I’m even more appreciative of this guy because he sure does puts up with a heck of a lot from me, such as pausing at each of these flowers so I can take a picture and carrying my camera back in true English gentleman style.