Tuesday, December 16, 2014

in search of snow & ice

Recently, much of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park was closed due to ice.  Not much winter happening here in DC and this past weekend I was in search of some of that snow and ice in the mountains.  On this hike, at the northern-most part of Shenandoah, there were just little patches of ice in parts, but very little.  Still a very pleasant hike, with a nice view at the Dickey Ridge visitor center.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

atop shenandoah

Last month I headed out to Shenandoah National Park while the foliage was at peak.  
 I led a small group of hikers down the Big Meadows trail, and then up the Appalachian trail and the Hawksbill Summit trail (9 1/2 miles except for those who accidentally missed the turn-off; for them it was 12 miles!).

 At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill mountain is the highest point in Shenandoah.
 From the summit, had a nice, clear view of the ever-popular Old Rag mountain.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall comes to Fredericksburg

Last weekend, I accompanied my mom on a memorial walk for a friend in her walking club, the American Volksport Association.  The walk was in Fredericksburg, and although the drive down was rainy, the weather behaved for us, and the fall colors made a fine showing.

 Oh -- and there were zombies!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall at Huntley Meadows

A few weeks ago, watched the sun go down at Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, VA.

And back to Huntley Meadows this past weekend where I enjoyed fall's reflections in its wetlands.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Foggy Harpers Ferry

Following a fun day of hiking, spa, dining and s'mores with my friend Lisa, I roamed around Harpers Ferry which was enshrouded in a layer of fog.  The colors of fall were starting to peek through but there was still a lot of green.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

sunset adventure hike

Last weekend I joined two hiking friends to scout out a possible sunset hike at Buzzard Rock in George Washington National Forest in Virginia. 

The four-mile round trip trek was a success, with views of the sun setting over the valley below.  

Heading back down from the ridge through the woods in the dark was a fun adventure.

And the evening ended with the not-yet-full moon, serene as it was rising in the sky. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

End-of-summer sunset

Out last night with camera in hand, in hopes of catching the ever-elusive super moon, I was treated instead to a magical sunset, which I happened to catch on the Georgetown University campus.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Big boots in Shenandoah

Grateful for the cooler-than-usual summer, I have been able to get out hiking in the mountains in August, which is unheard of for me.  And eager to get my hiking legs back into shape, last weekend I hiked the Tuscarora trail in the George Washington National Forest (nearly 9 miles), and today the Appalachian trail in Shenandoah national park (7 1/2 miles).

It has been over three years since I've been to Shenandoah, and I was very excited to get back there.

This morning, I grabbed my hiking boots, which were still in their plastic bag from last weekend's hike, and put them on at the trailhead near Jenkins gap, just past mile 12 on Skyline Drive.  Hmm, something did not feel right.  The boots felt roomier than usual.  Far too roomy.  I examined them and realized that I must've accidentally switched boots after last saturday's hike with a guy in my carpool, who also happened to have charcoal gray Salomon boots.  I looked even closer and realized that I was wearing size 11.5 men's boots!  3 sizes too big, I think.

My feet slipped and slid a bit more than was ideal, but I got away with only getting one minor blister on my heel.  Luckily a hiker in today's group knew the owner of my boots for the day, and I was able to get in touch and we will implement the exchange later this week.

This did not detract from the enjoyment of being out in the mountains, on a beautiful August afternoon.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

summery sunflowers

 Last weekend made it out to McKee Beshers wildlife management area in montgomery county, near poolesville, MD, where there are several sunflower fields that pop out in the summer.  Although this field was slightly past peak, still a fine summery show.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Great Falls is great -- VA edition

Over the last five months I've hiked in Great Falls, VA and/or the adjacent parks/hiking areas of 
Riverbend and Difficult Run at least four times, and this is a place that always manages to amaze.    
Each season there has its own beauty.  Pulling together a few of my favorite shots over the years.  

Nov. 2006

June 2011

Dec. 2007

June 2014
Dec. 2007

June 2011

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

virginia bluebells

After the cherry blossoms have come and gone, I like to go in search of Virginia bluebells which coat the trails around streams and rivers in Northern Virginia.  The bluebell trail of Bull Run Regional Park is usually a sure thing for these and did not disappoint a few weeks ago.