Walking, losing weight and taking photos of life in Virginia.

Posts tagged ‘hiking’

Blue Moon August 20 Not Two Full Moons In A Month


I was hiking downtown last evening and admiring the full moon. It’s called a Blue Moon and not because there are two full moons in August. There will be only one full moon this month. But there will be four full moons this summer, an unusual occurence. And the third is called a Blue Moon so that the last can still be called the Late Moon.

NPR and StarDate led us down the wrong celestial path in 1980 according to the article I just read by suggesting that the term meant there were two full moons in a month.

In any case, it was a beautiful moon with wispy clouds framing it and a cool breeze to make watching it more enjoyable.

Walking with the Central Virginia Trailblazers is always fun and I look forward to being with them and sometimes meeting new people. Last night I walked with a lady who has recently joined our group. Her name is Chris and she and I share several things in common. We both have degrees in English Literature and we both have worked in the field of social work.

Last night we also spend time viewing a painting on a rock adjoining Belle Isle of a skull about 8 or 10 feet in circumference that commemorates the Grateful Dead band. Apparently they used to party here after concerts back in the 1980’s. Here is a FB page about it.

Thanks to Jim Dimmette for this photo of me and the gang.
So it was a fun evening and thanks to Jim Dimmette, our group leader, for organizing the 4 mile hike and sharing some local lore with us.

Photo Friday / Men

I’ve been doing a few photo memes lately. They are always fun and don’t take a lot of creative energy (I’m wiped after the horrific events of the past few days up in New England). This photo is of a man and his son (I presume) doing some climbing with a rope (what’s that called?) near the Appalachian Trail here in Virginia. Watching him teach his son I was impressed by how dangerous this can be if you don’t pay attention to details. You have to be focused.

But these are the things that men, and women, enjoy doing. I can see trying it sometime (with some expert advisers nearby!). But I would have a difficult time because I would be thinking about the equipment. Stuff breaks, after all! I’ve seen it break! And I would not be aware of the history of the equipment that was keeping me from plunging onto the rocks below. I would have to TRUST the people who took care of the equipment (who I probably wouldn’t know very well). And that would be difficult.

So it might be awhile before something like this happens. . .

But I’m still hiking and enjoying nature. And, to a lesser degree, you have to trust the folks you take with you into the woods. And trust the hunters (out there) won’t mistake you for a deer (hopefully). And yourself (pay attention!).







York River State Park Hike / Central VA Trailblazers / Hiking Challenges

A bunch of us headed for the York River State Park yesterday for five miles of hiking through some hills and along the beach. There are fossils on the beach! Don’t take them home. It was not a demanding hike and the weather was cool and cloudy. So I took some photos and enjoyed talking with the other hikers. We are all part of the Central VA. Trailblazers group. When I returned home there was a message from someone in the group that I should not go on the hike coming up in the middle of January. This one IS demanding. A hiker died there recently, up in the George Washington National Forest (Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness), and his body was never recovered. It’s a loop hike that goes 16 miles and is fairly strenuous. I feel like I’ve worked hard and can do it but don’t want to do it if the group leader doesn’t feel good about it. If I was the group leader I would feel the same way. You are far from help out there and you are responsible, in a sense, for the entire group.

Sometime next year it’s going to happen! But maybe not in the middle of winter. There are some difficult stream crossings and a narrow path along the side of a mountain for more than a few miles. When I told Betsy about it she gave me the look and said she thought I should wait. You know the look, right? Or, maybe you don’t. It’s kind of a “this is obvious why are we wasting time talking about it?” look. Mixed with concern and love. It’s a little different from the look your boss would give you. But not entirely.

There was a time when I would have been right with all these intrepid backpackers. I can remember, in fact, carrying the stuff of someone who was having a bad time up the side of Mt. Washington.

It’s time for the daily five or ten mile walk.  And some music about the life each of us holds dear… don’t ever allow yourself to be defeated.

Anyway, here are some photos from yesterday.



Hiking Up Old Rag Mountain In Virginia


Last weekend we hiked up Old Rag Mountain in western Virginia. It’s a popular hike in these parts and there’s much traffic on the trail. But it was cloudy and the impending hurricane probably kept a few people away. I took some photos of the foliage and enjoyed scampering up the mountain. It’s not difficult with a day pack and trekking poles. Our intrepid leader, Karl, shepherded us along and everyone made it to the top.



Hiking And Electrolytes / Going Up The Hill In Downtown Richmond

Today I went on an eight mile hike downtown (Richmond) with a group from the Central VA Trailblazers. It brought back a few memories of the hike two weeks ago up in the Appalachians where we hiked up a severe slope for about a mile. Except that the trail here was less demanding. Still, it was an endurance test for me in the second half of the journey while going uphill and I began to wonder, “Am I ready to do an 11 mile hike next weekend in this heat and humidity on the Appalachian trail?

At this moment the answer appears to be “NO” but maybe there is another issue that needs to be addressed. Electrolytes. I’m just drinking water and sweating in unbelievable amounts of pure, unadulterated sweat. Maybe there’s a problem here. So I’m going to start using some of this Celtic Sea Salt that is an air dried product. Gatorade does not get high marks in some quarters. And I ordered some bee pollen as well.

Will this get your blogging buddy up the mountain? No idea. But we shall see if the sea salt helps. In the meantime, we have this photo that I really like of the group today. Don’t they all look healthy and ready to go (somewhere)? Imagine what it is like trying to keep up with them. Except that, I cannot use the senior citizen card, because our group organizer, George, is my age (early sixties) and he proceeded up those hills without a problem. They station a group organizer at the beginning and at the end of the line to keep things moving. And George was at the end of the line. So we did spend some time together. Thanks George!

He is going up the mountain next weekend for sure. And he even brings wine with his tent and other necessities.

It should be an interesting weekend.

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