Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Hiking Review in Pictures

2016 was a great year for hiking. Gini and I got to explore so many new regions, and visited some old favorites. I was able to return to my old stomping grounds of the Laurel Highlands in western PA. Gini got experience her first backpacking adventure. And Gini and I got engaged ontop a beautiful granite rock formation on The Preist.

So, let's hear it for the great adventures of 2016! Click the links to take you to photo albums from the hikes. Enjoy!

Jan 2 - Old Rag

Jan 30 - Styles Falls


Mar 26 - Rapidan Camp

Apr 2 - Cole Mountain

Apr 27 - Goshen Pass  

Jul 1 - The Priest

Jul 30 - Roan Highlands

Oct 30 - Mt Pleasant

Other hikes not listed:

Rough Mountain Wilderness Bushwhack
Mountain Lake
Grassy Knoll
Golden Gate Area near San Fransico
St. Marys Wilderness
Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, GA

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grayson Highlands

Grayson Highlands and Mt Rogers have always been my favorite spot to backpack in VA. I always wanted to do a post about it, but just never got around to it...till now. I realize the size and scope of Grayson Highlands is really hard to write about in post. In fact Gini's and my hike this weekend barely scratched the surface of all the great things this place has to offer. So this post will be just about our hike, but make no mistake, you can easily make your own backpacking loop and view more of the wonderful sights that we witnessed. Now without further ado, the Grayson Highlands Backpack.

So first we started from the backpacker's lot in Grayson Highlands State Park. 

There was a bit of a backup getting into the park, and the parking lot was almost full. But we managed to find a spot. Seeing as how many cars where in the lot, we grew concerned about how crowded the area might be. But, the number of people we saw wasn't that big of turn off.

We began hiking by crossing Massie Gap and entering the fenced in area on Wilburn Ridge.

View from Massie Gap

Along Wilburn Ridge, we spotted many wild ponies, scrambled some awesome outcrops, and enjoyed the views. We were able to see smoke from the forest fires hitting Tennessee and North Carolina.

We continued on North along the AT. We eventually came off Wilburn Ridge and out of Grayson Highlands. We passed Wise Shelter and Little Wilson Creek. We evenutally entered the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area and then entered Little Wilson Creek Wilderness for a couple miles. It was very peacful and quiet. From this point on, we didn't see another person till the next day.

Once we got out of the wilderness area, we then came onto Stone Mountain. 

Stone Mountain offered excellent views with seclusion. We eventually set up camp and waited for the sunset over Wilburn Ridge to East.

That was one cold night!

Day 2

After a cold, freezing night, we got to witness the Sun illuminate the whole Grayson Highlands. What a sight to see!

After picking up camp and eating breakfast, Gini and I headed out towards The Scales. From there, we began to a decent climb up Pine Mountain taking the Crest Trail. The views were amazing. The trail ended at Rhododendron Gap. Up there, there was a beautiful outcrop that offered great views of Mt Rogers, Grayson Highlands, and as far West as the eye can see.

We next started a descent climb up to Wilburn Ridge. Once again the views were amazing.

After a couple miles of hiking and scrambling along Wilburn Ridge, we made it back to our truck. With hungry stomachs, we quickly drove down to town to a great restaurant called the Log Cabin.  This was Gini's first backpacking trip and I was happy to hear that she would want to backpack again. I was so proud she made it though the cold freezing night and kept hiking away. Hope you enjoyed this write up, now go out there and get some hiking!

A couple of happy campers

More pics from this trip

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 hiking review in pictures

So 2015 was a fantastic year for me for hiking. Over 40 hikes, lots of new ones and revisited some past favorites. I also gained some new hiking compadres such as my dad, and sweetie named Gini!
I don't think I'm gonna get to post a picture from every hike, but I will post some of my favs. Enjoy!

 Buck Hollow to Mary's Rock, Shenandoah NP

 Roaring Run, Eagle Rock, VA

Great Channels of Virginia, Abingdon, VA

Crabtree Falls and The Preist, Nelson County, VA

Lake Moomaw

 South River Falls, Shenandoah NP

Wild Oak National Recreation Trail, Shenandoah Mountain, VA

Stickler Knob and Duncan Knob, Massanutten Mountain, VA

High Knob Lookout, Shenandoah Mountain, VA

Wilson Creek Wilderness, Mount Rogers NRA, VA

Mount Rogers, Mount Rogers NRA, VA

Tinker Cliffs, Roanoke, VA

Little Rocky Row Trail, George Washington NF, VA

Congress Trail, Sequoia NP, CA

Tokapah Falls Trail, Sequoia NP, CA

Emerald Lake and Pearl Lake, Sequoia NP, CA

Alta Peak, Sequoia NP, CA

High Sierra Trail, Sequoia NP, CA

John Muir Grove Trail, Sequoia NP, CA

Bearchurch Rock, Shenandoah NP, VA

Laurel Fork Special Management Area, Allegheny Highlands, VA

White Rock Falls, George Washington NF, VA

Doyles River and Jones River, Shenandoah NP, VA

Spy Rock, George Washington NF, VA

Potts Mountain, Barbours Creek Wilderness, VA

Apple Orchard Mountain, Jefferson NF, VA

Iron Mountain Trail, Mount Rogers NRA, VA

The Cascades, Giles County, VA

Devil's Marbleyard, James River Face Wilderness, VA

There were lot's and lot's more hikes. Here's 2015 being one hell of a year!