In the space of a few weeks, it's gone from feeling summery to wintry. Over the weekend we had one cool, foggy, misty day - which I enjoyed while traipsing through shenandoah national park - and then a day that started out feeling like April and ended up feeling like, well, January. The hike was led by a natural history expert so in addition to stopping to catch my breath, I stopped to learn about my surroundings. There were some amazingly beautiful rock formations in this part of the park.
In the last two months of the year, completed two hikes and approximately 25 miles of the Potomac Heritage Trail -- "an evolving, 710-mile network of locally-managed trails and routes that embraces both sides of the Potomac, from the mouth of the river at the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny Highlands in the upper Ohio River basin." So says the National Park Service.
Hike number one was in November (right after getting over the first of three colds in an eight-week span). We had some beautiful fall foliage that day.
The second hike was two days after Christmas (right after getting over cold # 3 of 3).
And it reached nearly 70 degrees. Go figure.
Amazing to find so much beauty in nature so close to the city.
Taking a moment to give thanks for the things that keep me sane, such as exploring a new trail in an old park with friends, both old and new. For streams and leaves and colors and trees, and the joy of photographing it all.
While life may have me feeling a little lost right now, hiking at Lost River State Park perked me right up. A state park in West Virginia not too far from the George Washington National Forest, this nearly 11 mile hike with 2,200 feet of elevation gain was a perfect way to spend a fall day. Definitely worth the 6:15 a.m. start to the day and the 2+ hour drive.