Beautiful wild succulents clung to moss and tree trunks as we made our way to a twenty-five-foot waterfall in one of Virginia’s largest forested areas.
“I can’t believe we made it and didn’t kill ourselves,” I told Andy.
“I can’t believe you made it and you didn’t kill yourself,” he said and he was right.
Another (smarter) couple had turned around before reaching this ridge-edge trail with ankle-deep ice-covered snow. But not us — We had kept going out of sheer determination and, sure, stupidity — but we had kept going.
After our cat walked one of the longest recreational bridges in America, Andy, Ly, and I set off for a historic tunnel that was the longest tunnel in America when it was built.
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.
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.
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.
This cliff view resembled a painting: There were trees with pops of vibrant reds, yellows, and greens — others, white with flower pedals. Then, as if it couldn’t get any better, a bald eagle shot out from the valley, swooping in the air before circling over the Blue Ridge.
It felt a mighty battle between gods for light and darkness. Deep grey clouds suffocated the sun and loomed over the blue valley while the sun struggled to pierce through in broken patches of light.
This hike goes down as one of our top three, and lucky for us we got a mountain sunset and sunrise there, along with a series of waterfalls, a 360-degree summit view, small campsite on a cliff face, and of course a walk on the Appalachian Trail.
This was our first snow hike, and it left us admiring the landscape, feeling appreciative to have winding trails and mountains like this one to climb.
Our first hike together in 2018 comes with possible bear markings, a vista that has dramatic drop offs, and — of course — another dose of direction miscalculations.