New River Valley hikes

May 23, 2007

I've been camping in the US Forest Service White Rocks Campground right on the West Virginia border for the past few days, having a fun time. I've seen a great number of through-hikers (this is exactly when most of them pass through this area) and spent one night back-packing among them. All ages from 20s to 60s, majority male. Some are in a hurry but others are out to smell the flowers.

Here is the beginning of a hike, from Sinking Creek through pastures and over stiles which cross the barbed wire fences, heading for the mountain in the distance (Kelly Knob). Then at the end of the walk, I jump on the bike and ride down in 15 minutes the elevation that took me hours to climb up! And I arrive back at the car having made a hike-and-bike loop.

Oklahoma City Memorial

May 7, 2007

A visit to the Memorial at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. If you walk through downtown to the site, you enter the 1970s-style brutalist plaza, which is built over a parking level so there are a lot of steps and level changes. At the top of the last flight, you should be confronted with a tall office building, but there is an empty space where the building wall used to be.

Standing at the edge of the void, you look down to the chairs representing the dead, the reflecting pool where the street behind the building was, and beyond where there were some other buildings and a parking lot. The tree in the distance is the "Survivor Elm" which was in the parking lot, but survived the bomb and has been made a centerpiece in the space.

Detour to Oklahoma

May 6, 2007

A little side trip to Oklahoma to see the prairie for Bob's birthday.

The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge preserves some prairie because the small mountains made the soil too rocky to plow, and right around the time of Teddy Roosevelt people noticed the bison going extinct, so they started a herd here. Also longhorn cattle because they are rare now too.

Spring Flower Show

April 27, 2007

Here are amelanchiers on Brush Mountain
just south of Roanoke, VA.

To see my album of wildflowers,
try this link:

Shenandoah National Park

April 24, 2007

I started north for a visit home, and spent a couple of days hiking sections in the Shenandoah National Park. These guys are some of the major tourist attractions.

I stayed at the Lewis Mountain campground and enjoyed great coffee in the morning made with my Jetboil cooker and Lexan French press coffee pot.

I've hiked over 1200 miles of the Trail now, so ... less than 1000 more to go!