Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Once again we are back on the road!

We left Home and drove to Knoxville on Friday the 30th. There we stayed at a lovely AirB&B that had a very comfy mattress. Next day we drove to Raleigh, North Carolina. Here we are staying with our dear friend Joyshine and her love Jamie.

So first night there we partook in a lovely Samhain ritual at someone's house in the woods. Very nice. Afterwards we went to a really shiny diner. And when I mean shiny, lots of light was reflecting off the thing. The food was great and we got home plenty late.

Sunday was a day of rest, doing a lot of nothing, but we did socialize with Joy and Jamie. I was mostly out of it thanks to kidney pain and exhaustion. Monday was another day of rest but we had tasty Mexican food at the end. Then we bought bacon from a butcher and I got beer. It is a scotch ale aged in whiskey casks. I am so looking forward to tasting that.

Joy and I were rather tipsy, thanks to multiple margaritas, and it only got worse as we went through some wine and looked at travel pics. The images of the Basilica de Sangrada Famalia were stunning. By the end, Joy and I were plastered and giggling like fools. It was lovely.

Today, I ventured out. Cindy did not come because fibro and narcolepsy tag teamed her. J&J took me to the North Carolina museum of art. There were two travelling exhibits I had to see and then the regular collection. The first special exhibit was the Codex Leicester by Da Vinci. It was primarily a collection of his observations of water, how it flowed, water pressure, etc... The writing and the sketches were so amazing. I was completely in awe. The exhibit shows all the pages of the Codex and they are amazing.

Next we walked to the exhibit adjacent to the Da Vinci, which was the Escher exhibit. The museum had tied the two collections together with quotes, two by Da Vinci and two by Escher, where he lauds Da Vinci. That helped set the mood.

That collection was rather large with a lot of the more famous works as well as some of the early Architecture pieces. They also had a 12+ foot copy of Metamorphose II. That was amazing. The wood cuts used to ink some of the designs were also on display and they were very cool.

Then we went next door to the primary collection. That collection is great because it has excellent representative works that give you a feel for each of the time periods. The Egyptian section was rather nice with a few sarcophagi and a nice bust of Sekmet. The Rodin collection was amazing, with a lot of the more famous pieces but also a number of his more common works. It wasn't all subsections of the Gates of Heaven and Hell. Then there was the Jewish collection with some great Seder plates, Torah decorations and covers, menorahs, and more. Very good stuff, though not large.

All in all we are enjoying this portion of the journey.

Talk to you later,

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weird, Cool, & Unusual Along the Way

So, as we wandered around various parts of the country, we saw a number of ... interesting things. Some were cute and funny...

Found in a Dollar General - yes, that's the freezer case of ice cream treats that Anna is sitting on.

Some were just bizarre and confusing... like this unidentified object seen on our way out of Buffalo, NY.
And then you get closer and it's all pink and wrinkly...

WTF is this thing on the side of the road?

Early in the trip we saw someone driving a rather large boot down the street (yes, some of you have already seen this)

And we can't forget the Kermit riding on the back of a motorcycle...

I feel like he should have a helmet or something. I worry.

This was an... interesting? piece of art at the Renn Faire. It came from Aradani Studios, in case anyone's interested. I liked some of their other stuff, but this one creeped me out (I really didn't like the IT clown, but who did?) so I had to share.

This one, well it was part of a whole collection of celebrity high school photos. I just had to share this because teenaged Helena Bonham Carter looks WAY more like Emma Watson than I ever imagined she would have.

In the Youth section of the Lynchburg, VA public library - Harley Quinn. :)

Heather had to come to the back deck and save me from this monster praying mantis. That's an entire wooden plank it's sitting on - like 4.5 inches, and it's at a diagonal. It was HUGE. I'm pretty sure in went off to take a substitute teaching job when she scared it away.

I had to text Heather because it wanted to eat Xander!!!
And last but not least, you've all seen this before, right?

Well Highway 100 in Vermont has an asphalt version ...     

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ohio - the Good, the Bad, and the Horrid Crack-house Lodging

We still have a bunch of Vermont stuff we'd like to post, but I'm skipping ahead to the 1st of October and a few days after, as we arrived in Ohio to visit people in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas.

We arrived Thursday evening to find that our temporary apartment wasn't ready for us (i.e. had no furniture in it, despite us making a reservation with security deposit so we could check in that day.) So, a trip to Red Roof Inn in Miamisburg it was. On the plus side, it was super close to friends Jess & Jen, so we were able to meet them for breakfast Friday morning before they took off to get paperwork to legalize their marriage of six years. They had a tiny little private ceremony & signing on Saturday, but I was just thrilled to find Sew Dayton, a wonderful small business owned by two ladies who were so sweet and welcoming to me. I got to go in there, use a sewing machine, cutting table, ironing board, etc. while I completed a wedding gift for this really sweet couple (who are essentially me and Heather, only younger, and one is left handed.)

Not the best of pics, and I had to fix a bit in the top left corner after I took this, but you get the idea. These are their fave colors, and the embroidery blends purple & green together in a variegation. I can see all sorts of uneven spots and crooked bits, but really, I'm quite proud of how it turned out. Oh, and the white bit at the top is a pocket so it can hang from a dowel or curtain rod on the wall. :)

 We ate at a wonderful little cafe during a Saturday visit to Indiana - www.cafepatachou.com, where they not only had a decent gluten free selection (rough to deal with sometimes when you're on the road) but even put a little flag in my sandwich to show that it was GF and that they had paid attention to my needs (i.e. changing gloves, cleaning work space, etc.). I was highly amused by these bathroom doors, too, especially the fact that they are considered unisex bathrooms, and people often don't get that because of the gendered images on the doors.

Horrid Crack-House Lodging (aka apartelusa.com, Dayton location) began on Friday, and ended early Monday morning when I reported that we still had bedbugs even after they replaced the infested sofa. I won't go into all the details here, but suffice to say I am covered in bite marks and it was gross and scary. While we were packing up and waiting to move to our new, non-scary lodging, there was a fight, a domestic issue, cops called, and a screaming match between a "crack whore" and a "bald bitch." It was like being in the middle of a Jerry Springer episode, and I've never liked his show.

Monday afternoon, we moved to Cathy & Dan's (found on airbnb.com, a much better option based on all our experiences) and spend the first bit of our time just lounging in the hammock and enjoying the wooded back yard.

Heather and Sandy, being cute.

So really, the first lodging was awful in many ways, and the second was amazing in just as many. The best part of our trip, though was visiting with the people of the area. Jess & Jen are among our closest Chosen Family, despite having only seen each other 4 individual times before this trip. I think we managed to get that number up to 9 with our various days/evenings spent together. The Renn Faire will be a post all its own, and there really aren't any photos of other times together, but that's okay. We shared many stories (old and new), and Jess & I worked with sticks and strings while our wives watched with grins (as usual).

We did also manage a visit to some Cincinnatti peeps we don't know very well but had a great evening with! Ocean & Skylark were incredibly welcoming, and again there were shared stories (some of mutual friends) and really good food (they make tasty Thai, which might have something to do with Skylark living in Thailand for a while).

All in all, Ohio was a good trip. It's kinda nice, but also kinda weird to be home again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Robert Frost & Wooded Paths

So, along 125 in Vermont, a road that passes over and through the mountains and was a 2 minute walk from our place, there is a Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. Apparently he lived & worked near there for about five minutes at one point. The parking area and trail head are just off the road, and the trail is definitely more of a walk in the woods than an actual "hike." I did this one alone, and aside from the family that passed me a few times here and there, it was quiet, solitary, and very peaceful. 

This was near the end of the trail, as I was heading back to the parking area. It struck me in a thinky-thought spiritual way.

My absolute fave of his poems (and one of my fave poems ever thanks to The Outsiders)
cool little squiggles of green & purple moss

what does this even mean?

I was gonna climb a bit of this tree...
Until I got close enough to see all the pine sap dripping from it.

Some of the area just looked out over fields of wildflowers and the mountains in the distance, while other parts of the trail wound through the woods (and diverged a few times - I always went to the left when presented with a fork. The other people there were going to the right both times. We passed each other in different areas of the trail.)

lovely bridge going over the river

and some of the pretty wildflowers up close

It was a lovely walk, and though I didn't remember some of the poems posted, it was kinda cool to read them, and to see some of the other info posted as well. One display described the process of empty fields and bare hills & mountains slowly turning into the forests we see today. The things we don't usually think of...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Packing the TARDIS

So, below are pictures of all of our stuff, before the packing began. 

I then did my thing and got all that in our little car. What's more... I was even able to look out the back window for the drive. :D

(This post brought to you by request of our most recent hosts who couldn't believe we could fit all this into the car)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Visiting Vermont Friends

We had a total of 4 get-togethers with a total of 4 online friends while in Vermont. Bubbo & David have visited our house in Tennessee a few times, and it was so much fun to see them in their space, too.

First we got to have Bubbo, her hubby David, and another online friend (MTcup) come to our place and do group nachos of tastiness and talk about books and hiking and traveling and how awesome Vermont is and knitting and funny stories and all sorts of things. It was a very very lovely afternoon, but we were having so much fun together that we forgot to take any photos.

A week or so later, Bubbo asked us to come to her place for dinner. This was her first time hosting friends for a meal in a couple years, so she was super excited to have us there, and we were super excited to be there it it was all just super exciting.

See how super excited we are?

Bubbo made Indian food, Beurre Butter Chicken, steamed rice, Paneer stew (with homemade paneer), and mixed veggies. There was also a yogurt sauce, fresh tomatoes, and chai rice pudding for dessert. OMG delish!!
It looks a little blurry, but it tasted amazing!
We talked about a hike/picnic with Bubbo & David, too, but it got rescheduled a couple times, and then turned into homemade stir-fry at their place and watching the blood moon lunar eclipse. It was awesome, and there were photos, but not on my camera. :(

So, another thing that came from the visit with Bubbo was this: These signs for public picnic areas are fairly frequent along the roads in Vermont, especially in the mid-Vermont area we stayed in. When I first saw them, I was thinking "drunk trees" but Bubbo said they make her think the trees are leaning over, being interested in what the picnickers are having, and that stuck with me - the rest of the time we were there, I giggled every time I saw one of these signs.
"Hey, whatchya eatin'?"

And then, finally, on our very very last night in the state, we got to hang out with another wonderful online friend, Knittywriter. She was, in fact, living in France until a few months ago, and finally came back to VT just in time for our visit. :D She drove to our place that evening while we were starting to pack. The plan, I believe (on all our parts) was to have quick hugs and hellos and a bit of a chat, and for her to be on her way an hour or so later. She arrived around 8. She left at 1:30 in the morning and we all had sore muscles the next day from laughing so much. 

Knitty doesn't show her whole face. I'm used to seeing it with a wine glass in front. ;)
All these visits were just great, and I only wish we had more photos (and more time - because more visits with all four of these people would have been lovely).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lots of water falling between countries

So, yeah, we didn't post as much last month, and there was that one quick update last week. I thought a few new pics and details might be fun to record and share. :) I'll post in little bits, and schedule them daily so it doesn't overwhelm those 2 people who actually read this thing. :)

Heather mentioned that we went to Niagara Falls on our way to Ohio. I can't even begin to describe how excited I felt about this. Niagara Falls, man. It's one of those wonders that you hear about all your life. I got to go there! I got to see it in person and get sprayed by the mist!

That's the American Falls behind us

 We had a great time wandering through the park, bought a Niagara Falls holiday ornament (because one of our traditions is buying ornaments to remind us of our travels - after a bit more walkabout, they may have to be the only ornaments on the tree), road the trolley for a bit, and just listening to the different sounds of the falls. I mean of course you have the rushing thunderous sound of the falls themselves...

It's a little surprising just how loud this is

... and then you have the smaller bits where it's quieter, more soothing, less exhilarating.

Toward the end of the Niagara rapids, not too far before the big falls.

Heather suggested I take this picture - it's the monument to Nikola Tesla, whose inventions and ideas are still used today on both sides of the falls (not to mention pretty much everywhere else) and one of the things we thought was awesome about it is the little electric vehicle at the charging station behind him.
My pop culture brain always expects him to look like the vampire Tesla from Sanctuary

We didn't get to go to Canada since neither of us have valid passports and we didn't want to get stuck there. (eek - too much hockey) We did, however, wave at Canada across the river, and at the tippy top bit of the park we could see this view of horseshoe falls.  The bit of fence is because they are in the middle of construction on a new area with wheelchair accessability that will go out further and down a bit to offer a closer view of the Canadian falls from this side of the border.

There's a tiny dark spot in the rock across the river - that's one of the Canada view points.

We are definitely planning to go back there, talked about summer 2017, with passports, and taking a few days to really enjoy all they have to offer.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Yesterday and today were travel days. Yesterday we left Vermont and drove to Buffalo, NY. Well really North Tonawanda but you get the picture. We drove by the Birthplace of the US Navy, which was neat. Our hosts were pretty cool, seeing as one was transcribing some sort of audio thing and the other was recording something for an audio thing. And we ate at Ted's Hot Dogs. They had really good GF buns and tastiness was had by all.

So today we went to Niagara Falls. It was awesome. As we were driving up we saw this huge cloud of smoke or something, turns out it was mist and we could see it from several miles away. We crossed over the American Falls rapids (which were really rough) onto Goat Island. We walked down towards the falls and then over to Luna Island which is right at the edge and has falls on both sides. Thanks to the mist we got plenty wet. After that we saw the statue to Nikolai Tesla, which is really cool. We then saw Horseshoe Falls, which is the set that most people are familiar with.

Then it was lunch time. I ate at Duff's, which had the best wings of my life. The wings were cooked perfectly and the sauce was amazing. Then it was off to Mighty Taco so Cindy could eat. Also good food. Grabbed a coffee from Tim Horton's and away we went.

Along the route there were several spots where I could see the vastness of Lake Erie. We drove through the Seneca nation and made it to Dayton in excellent time. The place we were supposed to stay wasn't ready yet as somehow the room was clean but had no furniture. I don't get that, but it's the truth. So it was off to dinner and then the quest for bed.

The restaurant we ate at is called The Amber Rose. They had a wide European selection of food. I got the Lithuanian Platter, as I had never eaten Lithuanian food before. Cindy got BBQ Gouda chicken. Both were excellent. We settled at the Red Roof Inn, where I am typing this. So, now we are all caught up. :D

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So, sorry for the lag between posts, but Vermont. It is stunning here. The leaves are starting to turn and I have never seen a wider array of colors than here. It is amazing. There are leaf colors that I have only seen in things like that huge book of color. Unreal. Add to that visiting with friends, going for walks, looking at stores in little towns, driving about, it is actually pretty easy to forget that we have a blog where we are supposed to be telling everyone about our adventures.

Tomorrow we are planning on going hiking with our friends on Mount Ascutney. Yes, that is actually the name. It is nearly in New Hampshire. But since this isn’t really a large state anyway we aren’t exactly stressed about the long drive. :D

Monday, I plan on going to Warren Falls and swimming in the river. The thing is, Warren Falls is a great swimming hole area. The water is really clear and there are several deep pools there that will be great. There are even some places where you can dive into the water. Sure it is going to be tit shrinking cold but I want to do it because I am a touch nuts. J

Tuesday we are back in Montpelier for a few things and then get with the packing. Hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a visit with another friend in the area before the next day because on Wednesday we are shuffling off to Buffalo, where I will eat me some Buffalo Wings.

But today, we were in Montpelier and I bought some books, including a number of Heinlein first editions. Major Score!! We also went to Warren Falls where I came up with my brilliant idea of swimming. I am already cold in anticipation. Now we are home and all is good.

Love you all and miss many of you. Those I don’t miss might be because you are terrible or simply because I don’t know you. Just saying.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yesterday was fun. I planned on hiking the Mount Abraham trail and reaching the summit. I had lunch packed and other stuff ready to go, so I was looking forward to it. After the fairly short drive to Lincoln Gap, Cindy and I reached the trail head.

The section of the trail I was going to be hiking was a section of The Long Trail. This is a trail that runs through the mountains of Vermont from North to South. It starts at the border with Massachusetts and ends at the Canadian border. It is fairly rough since the terrain here is fairly rocky. Also of note, the Long Trail is the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail.

I kissed the wife and headed off. The trail started pretty steep, but I was fresh and it was good. See… the thing is, when you are climbing to the top of a mountain there is a lot of up, and I do mean a lot. There was a lot of steep grades, rocks, roots, etc… all in the way. And stairs… lots of stairs. Some with rock steps and others with wood. It made my inner Taoist squeal happily but my inner hiker just sighed and groaned.

As you can see through the pictures, the trail was on the rough side. It didn’t take long before I was very happy that Cindy decided that hiking this was not for her. The trail was lovely but it was listed as strenuous for a good reason. Several groups passed me, as I quickly came to the realization that if I didn’t pace myself that I would run out of juice. And about a mile in I came to the realization that maybe this was a dumb idea for an overweight woman in only fair shape. I was overheating and started using a bandana soaked in ice cold stream water to help moderate my temperature. I was soaked to the bone and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

After 1.8 miles on the trail, I came to the Battel hut. This is a place where thru hikers can camp out on a flat surface with a roof over their heads. I thought it was pretty nice. There is a water spot and a picnic bench. I sat there for a bit, talking to two guys doing the Long Trail who were carrying lacrosse rackets. Apparently that was something they were doing for fun. Go them.

At this point I was only .8 miles from the summit and I was excited, despite being tired. 

However, the trail was far more intense in the last half of that. The first bit was nice. Sure it was still up but it was in nice shade with moss covered ground about, peaceful and still for the most part. I liked that. 

Then came the rock.

Those pictures are of the trail. Yes that is bare rock face. Yes I had to hike/climb that to reach the summit. It took forever because I got wore out easily. But climb I did. The view did not suck either.

There was also this really cool and large rock that stood out from the others. I call it Whitey Boulder, after the Boston Gangster. And in true Tennet fashion, I licked it. 

What was also fun was that the closer to the summit I got the shorter the trees got. Near the very top there were scrub pines that came to maybe my hip. The summit itself had alpine/artic plants up there and had twine to mark the boundaries so they could grow undisturbed. But I had made it to the top.

The view was stunning. The panorama shots here do not do it justice.

To the north I could make out a little bit of Canada. To the East I was able to see the White Mountains in New Hampshire. To the south were several of the Green Mountains. And to the west I could see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in New York. The day was clear without a cloud in the sky and the only impediments to seeing forever was the atmosphere itself. It took my breath away, which wasn’t too difficult as I had really been working.

This is the USGS seal of approval, stating the the summit was at 4006 feet.

Going down sucked, because all your weight shifts forward and hurts your toes. It was certainly a lot faster but it certainly did hurt. They still ache. And as to the question, does a Heather pee in the woods? Yes, and it was certainly an experience. Thank the Gods for through research. I did spot this great bit of surprise clover.

When I got back to the hut, I was fried and still had a good ways to go. I sat and talked to this woman, who for her 60th birthday was hiking the Long Trail. Finally, I got to my feet and trudged back. The route still had those steep bits, but this time I was heading down. Honestly I started to wear down faster than expected, thinking I would be fine for the return trip. I was still overheating, and I ran out of water halfway back to Lincoln Gap. That was not good.

This really cool root system that had pulled up helped distract me for a while.

I did not have a good time after this. I was thirsty, my legs cramped up, I began stumbling, slipping and such. It was bad. There were times I had to force myself to stand up because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten back up. There was also a few times where I just wanted to lay down in the dirt and call it a day. And yet I still wasn't back. 

Finally, I reached the top of this climb and saw a sign I remembered from the beginning of the trail. I got excited and as I began down slope again I spotted the road. About halfway down I saw our car pull up and by the time Cindy got out of the car and walked over to the trail head, I was nearly down. 

Needless to say, I was done in. 

We got home, I showered, ate and lay there with my legs up, fried beyond all belief. I am still tired now, the next day. That was definitely more mountain then I could chew but I stubborned myself through. I am sure nobody doubts that.

I hiked 5.34 miles, took about 35k steps according to my phone and burned roughly 1700 calories. Not bad for a days diversion.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yesterday was laundry day, see you there, underthings, tumbling...

Any way, yesterday we went to Rochester to get our clothes clean. That was fun. We first sat in the Bookstore and Bakery and then crossed the street to the cafe when the net was giving us issues. It was thrilling. We bought toilet paper.

Today was migraine and fibro, so again we just sat around. A thrill a minute. Though tomorrow should be fun as I am going to hike Mount Abraham. It's about 6 hours there and back again. That will be interesting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Out of Touch in Vermont

So the trip from Virginia to Vermont was more of an adventure than we expected. We arrived in Wayne, PA around 5:30 Monday afternoon, discovered it was an adorable little town with lots of stone houses, friendly neighbors, great gardens, and a really close-by greenway where we went for a walk before dinner.

Discovery of a couple tasty local places for our dinner that night and breakfast the following morning put Tuesday off to a great start. 
Fresh Peaches & Vanilla Cheesecake in a GF Buckwheat Crepe!
Non GF Crepe with Sauteed Mushrooms, Bacon, and Cheese!

We were on the road before 10am and heading North again. Then, we passed a sign telling us how far it was to NYC via various tunnels and bridges. They were all in the 35 minute range, and I said “hey, want to see if Na’ama is free for lunch?” We fully expected this would add about 3 hours to our trip. It ended up adding about 7, and we wouldn’t trade a moment of it. It’s not often people from Tennessee can turn up in Long Island for lunch because “we were in the neighborhood.” 
This is the kind of friend you can't pass up the chance to see.

Oh, and the lunch we got! There are no pics of the food because it didn’t last long enough, but I had roasted beet tacos with mango salsa – so good! Heather’s gnocchi with pesto smelled amazing, and Na’ama gave me a few bites of her roasted beet salad, too. Everything at The Witch’s Brew was delicious, including the crème brulee we all had for dessert.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful (another tasty dinner find on our way up, and we got to compliment the chef personally, so that was cool), but long. We arrived at The Gathering Inn around 2:10 AM, and stumbled in to explore our new short-term home.

Some of you may have seen brief mention of a phone call from the innkeeper yesterday – she has a house next door to the inn, and offered us that 2 bedroom, 2 bath space, just for us, for the whole month, instead of the room in the inn we had previously arranged for. Those of you who’ve known me for a while, know how I really like having my own space. With Airbnb, we’ve so far been in the house with other people, but had our own room. I’m okay with that – I can go retreat to my room when desired, and if Heather is in there too, well she’s my Heather; it’s okay. But if I’m offered a 2 story place with our own living space, kitchen, and an extra bedroom for guests (yes, she said we can have guests visit), and it’s not going to cost me a dime extra? Yes, I’ll take it!

There is one sorta downside to the house. The wi-fi signal doesn’t reach us. We’re welcome to use the signal in the inn, and she said it will even reach the picnic table out back, but it does mean our access to social media will be severely limited this month. Add that to the fact we have NO cell signal here, can’t send texts or make calls at all, and we’re gonna be a bit more out of touch than usual. It’s a good trade-off, especially since we’ve both said we wanted to do more non-internet stuff (read more books, study our interests, practice our crafts, play more games, go outside more, etc.). This is going to make those things much more likely when we don’t have the familiar internet habits to slip into as easily.

So far today we’ve walked to a nearby hotel/restaurant for breakfast, and I’ve walked the 4-5 minutes to the White River to see the little trickles there. We had a couple busy days of travel to get here, and I don’t expect there will be anything else today but relaxing and possibly picking up groceries (and at some point, carting the laptop to the inn so I can actually post this entry for you).

Knowing us, we’ll be checking in with our usual internet communication every couple days, but I imagine we’ll have more to share in between those times. J

Sunday, August 30, 2015

It is the last day in Virginia. I am kind of sad about that. Our host has been wonderful, the room nice, her daughter is a hoot and the cats have been very catty. How could this be a bad thing? But all things come to an end.

We have been washing and packing, making sure we have all our clothes cleaned and stuff. A little later we are going to be taking the majority of the stuff out to the car so that in the morning we can get up, dress and head to the really cute local diner before we head out on 29. Honestly we don't have as much stuff as we did on the trip up, because we had a whirlwind trip back to TN in order to drop things off, pick up like 4 things, meds for Cindy and back up.

The only downside to this has been the fact that the driving has made my ankle hurt. So my foot is in an ankle brace and propped up. I will certainly be ready to roll come the morrow, no doubts on that. And we are not doing the 11-12 hour drive to Vermont. Instead we are stopping in PA for the night and then away we go.

It should be fun. I will miss Tiffany, Doug, Astrid, and the pets. They have been wonderful and very welcoming. However that is the nature of Walkabout.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

James River & Fallingwater Cascades Trail

Well, we've been busy, and we've been not-busy... A week ago, I fell and was out of commission for a few days. Heather wouldn't let me do much of anything until the worst of the swelling went down and I quit making pain noises with every step. She's a good wife that way.

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway - I do love waterfalls

When we decided my ankle was in good enough shape to try a little walking, we went out to see Fallingwater Cascades. The book we looked at said this was a mile out and back, and called the trail "easy." We disagree. It's more of a moderate trail, and possibly more than I would have attempted had I known what it looked like, but we did it. (It's also more than a mile total, but I skipped the last section of it and turned back early.)

Proof we were outside!
The views, however, were beautiful. We ran into a few other people here and there, got one person to take a photo for us, but mostly we were alone, just walking through the woods, listening to the waterfall and the wind in the trees and the birds and, well, you know, nature. :)

We saw several butterflies and a couple dragonflies while we were out there, but those guys are really hard to pin down for photos. Plus we actually only took our phones out to snap pics a couple different times. The pics we got, though - well here...
Google "auto-awesomed" this one for us
Heather went along part of the path while I rested and started back slowly. She got some gorgeous shots of the falls, and the old river crossing. On the way back, she stopped for a few photos of these bizarre trees that she's deemed "Seussian" - I can't say I disagree.

Anybody know what kind of trees these are?
The remnants of a long-ago bridge

At the top of the falls, there was a bridge that crossed over, and some rocks near the water that were perfect for resting on for a bit. We even took off our boots and put our feet in the (really COLD) running water! Here's a view from the rocks, and a one minute video of the "babbling brook" part before it hits the big fall seen above.

On the way there, we stopped at the James River Visitor Center to look around and use the restrooms. We walked partway across the foot bridge over the river and got some more beautiful views.

Ansel Adams stylings by Google

It was a lovely day. Oh, and our trail kisses pic - so goofy looking, but that's okay.
Apparently this is what you get when you're actually kissing, and not just pecking for the camera.