Define and Design 2016, Week Forty

A wise man travels to discover himself. -James Russell Lowell

September 30

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: a relaxing night after a trying day, quiet time

Joy: Saw the most brilliant red cardinal at one of the backyard feeders, Dinner out with DirtMan and a funny phone call from my sister while we were out

Awareness: When I allow myself to get to the point of burn out I’m not fun to be around…need to remind myself not to reach this point again.

October 1

Creativity: Stained glass, finished both commissioned projects

Gratitude: Got our entire list of errands completed to go on our hiking vacation, found a really nice backpack on clearance at REI, and it not only fits better than my old one but it more suited to my needs.

Joy: Bumped into Oldest and friend at the brewery…funny story about this, another one of Oldest’s friends stopped by for a short visit, texting with a friend, lunch out with DirtMan

Awareness: There are some people who brighten our day whenever we see them.

October 2

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Got everything done that needed to be done before leaving home. Safely reached my mom’s to drop off Wylie for the week.

Joy: Phone call with Youngest and seeing Oldest before we embarked on our trip. A beautiful bright double rainbow before pulling out of town! Silliness with DirtMan on the road.

Awareness: Haste makes waste – you’d think I’d remember this by now! Again, rushed through something and had to redo it.

October 3

Creativity: Photography, writing

Gratitude: First day of vacation! Lots of hiking adventures planned. We checked out Lover’s Leap, Mabry Mill, Chateau Morrisette (lunch on the patio with the view of Meadows of Dan and wine tasting at the winery) Elk Garden, White Top

Joy: Cows, up close and personal!  We walked through a small portion of the AT which ran through a cow pasture. Enjoyed the view (a distance of 78 miles) and the sunset from White Top Mountain, the second highest mountain in Virginia…Amazing! (Overjoyed to reach the hotel!)

Awareness: Sitting outside in the dark wee hours of the morning listening to a crowing rooster. A train whistles in the distance while overhead heavy dew falls, thump, thump, thump, onto the tin roof.

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Mabry Mill

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Moo!

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Sunset from White Top Mountain

 

October 4

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: We made it to Devil’s Bathtub after a false start on the wrong trail. We creek scuttled because it would have been impossible to hack through the rhododendron thickets armed only with our bare teeth and a Swiss Army knife! At any rate, it was well worth it. We followed directions someone had posted which wasn’t correct, but quickly found the trail on our own. We hit Little Stoney Falls (Beautiful!) and then stumbled upon Bear Rock. We just pulled over and took a random trail, and boy, were we glad we did! It was an amazing vista of leaning rocks off the side of the mountain. I’m slightly afraid of heights, but it was stunning! We caught the sunset at Bark Lake.

Joy: A surprise of about 60 plus cairns built on the river at Devil’s Bathtub. I named it Children of the Cairns. Really sore muscles were delighted to reach a hot shower and a hotel bed!

Awareness: We were so tired we didn’t know how hungry we were until we started eating. Also too tired to be fazed when the waitress knocked my glass of wine over me; guess she was tired, too!

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Swimming hole at Devil’s Bathtub

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Devil’s Bathtub

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Some of the many cairns someone built

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A few more cairns

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Another fall and swimming hole at Devil’s Bathtub

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Little Stoney Falls

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Bear Rock

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Sunset at Bark Lake

October 5

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Hiked to the Channels, absolutely amazing! These are mountain outcrop with beautiful vistas from the top of the rocks. From the base you climb into slots (similar to canyons or perhaps caverns) and follow channels that have been formed through the years. Breathtaking, no words to describe!

Joy: We are still alive! The park we were headed to didn’t have a cabin available and couldn’t guarantee us a tent site so we stopped at Glade Creek Park to camp. The camp ground was empty. In fact, we were the only ones in the park. We were taking pictures of the moon over the river that night and the Park Rangers pulled up and asked us what we were doing. When we said taking photos they questioned it because it was dark, but were amazed when they saw DirtMan’s images. Anyway, they went on to tell us they’d had some problems there with “unsavory characters” doing some really bad things. Wonder what kind of “unsavory characters” we were temporarily mistaken for!

Awareness: Upon entering the vacant campground it instantly felt eerie. Not sure if it was because it was dark and empty or more because a river and railroad track ran along it. After the Rangers stopped I felt reassured since they patrol the area. However, no sleep as the trains ran all night long…when we didn’t hear the iron clanking of the tracks or the whistles blowing, two dogs barked and howled. Not much sleep!

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Set of outcrops on the mountain. We did not go around these or attempt to climb inside this set.

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An amazing view from on top.

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Slot which probably leads to channels

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One opening to the Channels we explored

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Inside one area of The Channels

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One channel leads to another

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and another

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and so on.

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Truly unique rock formations

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These channels surely tell a story of time.

October 6

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Babcock State Park, New River Gorge Bridge, Sandstone Falls

Joy: Made it from Hinton, WV to Lexington, VA shortly after 11 pm…dinner, a hot shower, and a hotel bed…never underestimate simple comforts.

Awareness: Witnessing amazing architecture constructed by nature and man is humbling.

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Babcock State Park

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New River Gorge Bridge

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Sandstone Falls

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Sandstone Falls, photo taken on the opposite side of the mountain from the first one.

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Sandstone Falls, zoom photo of one segment.

16 thoughts on “Define and Design 2016, Week Forty

    • I’d never heard of the others either. We’d never hiked Southwest Virginia or West Virginia. DirtMan loves to explore Google Earth and found these places and planned our vacation accordingly. It was fun, interesting, and soothing and tiring at the same time.

  1. I’d forgotten you were on vacation, Suzi. Thank Heaven you’re safe from Hurricane Matthew! That was one wicked storm! Your photos show such beauty — I especially love the water shots! Thanks for sharing them here.

  2. Oh these pictures are spectacular. Many seem so iconically Virginia to me. Love the mill, the waterfalls, the rock formations, the views. Cairns are such a pleasant surprise. There’s a lake we used to hike around in Colorado that had one canyon trail leading away from it, lined with cairns – very special energy to the place. Babcock State Park – Virginia or West Virginia? Thanks for sharing the pics – I know it takes time to put them together and post and it was so pleasant to see.

  3. Babcock is in West Virginia. We explored Southwest Virginia and slipped into West Virginia for a day and a half. Just never enough time to do all we want to do. Guess we’ll get to do more when we retire, ha! Virginia does have a natural flair of it’s own, doesn’t it. I’ve never met a cairn I didn’t like!

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