The snow made the air fresh and pure and so we continued on the Appalachian Trail, holding onto dreams that one day Andy and I will thru-hike this white blaze.
The calmness spread to our minds, bodies, and souls, and I learned — again — a valuable lesson. Mountain air is medicinal and so, with a deep breath, Andy and I found ourselves cured.
For a moment — for an afternoon — Andy and I were able to escape it all and simply take our cat on a leash for a walk in the mountains . . .
On this hike, we embraced the beauty, the impulsiveness, and the excitement, which is why — on the way back — our hearts beat to the rhythm of happiness and I found still more appreciation for nature . . .
Even though the distance covered was small and the vista not grand, that sensation of being in a forest — well, that is the sensation I chase. That is the sensation I seek.
The forest was all it promised — a beautiful, quiet place to seek solitude — and so we strayed along the waterfall for what felt like hours.
Despite feeling minuscule while walking, massive amounts of ground can be covered so that when standing back, the reward of physical exertion — of simply having a will and legs to carry that mental power — That reward is all that is needed to keep going.
Snaking through rhododendron and laurel tunnels, we were lead to eighty-foot tall granite rocks that overlooked a secluded part of the mountain’s forest.
“I’m so happy we eloped,” one of us said — It doesn’t matter who because we both felt that way. Eloping meant this — him and me, intertwined fingers, talking and truly seeing one another.
It is rare I’m willing to re-hike any trail; however, when it comes to the Three Falls hike, I vote the seventy-foot Dark Hollow Falls for its height and beauty.
People often talk of one of Shenandoah National Park’s most popular cascades: Rose River Falls. What they do not know though is that if you wander off trail and follow the river down, you will be rewarded with an even larger waterfall.
President Thomas Jefferson and I have something in common: We both were charmed by Falling Spring Falls, a mystical eighty-foot waterfall in the beautiful blue Alleghany Highlands.
We set off for a sunset at one vista before hiking in the moonlight to another where we would watch a sunrise the following morning . . . but nature had other plans . . . other plans as in tornado watch right where we were . . .
It was the most beautiful hike we have yet to be on: Colorful flower blooms lined the trail and the most breathtaking mountain cliff sunset and sunrise made this hike extraordinarily magical.
We followed the trail of flowers where butterflies danced in front of us, zooming in and out of the blooms to suck more nectar . . .