A Look At Our Week
We had a visitor this week! We love having company and showing off this gorgeous place we live in. One of my guy’s friends came to visit with us from Monday until Thursday. We enjoyed catching up with her and showing her around, and of course introducing her to Stella.
She is a big hiker and had planned a six day solo hike on the A.T. after our visit. We parked her car at her ending destination and drove her to the trailhead. We hiked in with her for about two miles before sending her on her way. She’s been keeping us updated on her journey.
A-hiking we definitely did go! To help to prepare ourselves for our visitor we did a couple of hikes before her arrival. We hiked on Elk Knob (one of our go-to trails) and then tackled the Taylor’s Valley Trail again. This was the 8-miler that we attempted last week.
We did Elk Knob At our own paces, my guy wanted to push himself and I wasn’t into pushing. My original plan was to do a half a mile on the trail and then do another easier trail in the park. When I reached the 1/4 mile marker I was still feeling good so I kept on going. I ended up meeting my guy at the 1.25 mike marker on his way back down.
I was set and ready for my second 8-miler attempt. There might have even been a little jump in my step as we started out on the trail (after driving up the 1/2 mile straight up driveway this time). On our last attempt I had lost my glasses and was happy to find them right where I left them. There was some discrepancy on the actual mileage, but we completed the trail (marked as 4 miles) and ended at the Virginia Creeper Trail. We crossed two creeks while sharing one pair of water shoes.
We decided to go back on the Virginia Creeper Trail. My guy then had to climb back up the half mile driveway to get the car. I chose to bypass the driveway and met him at a local cafe, that had unfortunately closed. He calculated our mileage as me with 7.3 and him with 7.2. Close enough to 8 for me!
We felt ready for the challenge of hiking with our friend now. The evening she arrived her and my guy settled at the kitchen table with maps everywhere reviewing her hike and deciding what hikes they would do. They decided on an 8.5 mile hike in Grayson Highlands as their first hike. They would need me to drop them off at one trailhead and pick them up at their ending point. I happily agreed.
I packed my book and lots of yarn and was ready for a chill day while they hiked. After I sent them on their way I visited the visitor center at the park and decided to do my own hikes. I hiked two of the smaller trails in the park for a total of about 3 miles. I then headed over to the trailhead to wait for my hikers to return. Solo hiking is a different experience and I was quite proud of myself for taking it on.
The next day we decided on taking her to one of our favorite trails, Gentry Creek Trail. This was the trail that I had a dehydration spell on the last time we did it so I was anxious to face it again. I did great. It seemed much easier than last time. The falls were beautiful.
Thursday was our last day together. We enjoyed an early morning ice cream stop before heading out on our final hike together. We had done this hike before as well. I remembered it as hard. We have to walk across a rock wall at one point and I remembered lots of elevation. I wasn’t too excited and may have hoped for rain just a little bit.
When we made it to the trailhead the rain had stopped so I agreed to go. We hiked about 2 miles to the falls. I scaled that rock wall in the pouring rain like a boss! We did go the less elevated path this time which helped, but again it seemed much easier. I was glad that I had went and felt accomplished. I even survived walking over a hornet’s nest and getting stung 4 times!
Today we decided on a last minute trip to my family reunion. On our way to the family we stopped in Hampton, TN to continue our hiking spree. Time constraints kept us from making it all the way to the Watauga Lake Shelter, but we will be back. It was a nice trail around the lake.
Last Saturday we set our alarms and were determined to make it to the Farmer’s Market in time to get some fresh veggies for our guest. Success! We made it! I finally got to try out my crocheted market bag, it was almost dragging the ground when we left.
After the market we headed downtown to the Sunflower Festival. I was quite impressed at all the vendors this little town put out. BBQ, pretzels and homemade ice cream were among our faves. We also enjoyed the woodworking booths and the local photographer’s booth. Oh, and of course the Republican Party booth!
A quick trip to the local yarn store ended our day out in our charming little town!
Tired hiker selfies! Have a great week!! XOXO