Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

Hey Everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend. I had a fantastic time. We decided to take to the mountains and go camping over the long holiday weekend, especially since there are not many great warm weekends we will have left to go enjoy the great outdoors before fall really starts to settle in. I am not a fan of the cold at all, and from what they predict, this year will be especially cold and snowy here. So, I am soaking up as much great weather as possible.
AT sign at the cross trails on Punch Bowl Mountain
I love my state; Virginia has so much to offer. One of my favorite weekend trips has always been The Blue Ridge Parkway, which is why on this particular weekend I wanted to go camp in the mountains. It is actually a goal of mine to hike the AT, so hopefully I will be trained well enough to do that (more details to come as the time gets closer). Since I knew we would hit a few parts of the AT, this made for an ideal time to see the trail first hand - before any weather changes the actual trail itself. And, thankfully we were able to spot at least 4 spots along our drive that hit the AT.
Enjoying the views of Sharp Top Mountain
Our last vacation spanned from milepost 45 to milepost 1 (which is the start of The Blue Ridge Parkway) and the beginning of Skyline Drive, so we knew this round we were gonna venture south. Between milepost 45 and 114 was our section to explore during this trip, which starts at Buena Vista and ends at Roanoke. Before we settled in to camp, we decided to hit a lot of the highlighted stops along the way and there was a lot to see. We hit 4 AT markers along the stops, hiked a mile on each of them and continued along the way. It was a great morning and start to day 1 of our trip.
View from Sharp Top Moutain
Sunday was one of the more active days of our trip, and one which has the most crammed in it. We woke up super early to have breakfast, prep our Osprey and CamelBak bags for our difficult morning hike up Sharp Top Mountain. If you have never hiked up a steep mountain before, this one will surely be a test. Compare it to the elliptical at the gym on the toughest setting. My calves were on fire but after the hike, I felt great. The views were spectacular and I was thankful that we had left so early to start our hike as it started to warm up. We even ventured the extra mile to Buzzard's Roost and spotted a very sweet young deer grazing along the trail. It was a very magical moment and worth the entire full hike we did.
Young deer on the trail to Buzzard's Roost
The rest of the day was spent hiking around Peaks of Otter and exploring various smaller hiking areas. It was a fun-filled day. Monday was spent packing up the campsite and heading home. If you have a long weekend, I suggest visiting The Blue Ridge Parkway, or at least the Peaks of Otter section to get the most out of the weekend. And, if you are not into camping, the lodge is just as wonderful to stay at and there is a really amazing winery nearby that not only has some award winning wines but boasts great views of the mountains as well.

How was your weekend? Was there any outdoor adventures in your long weekend. Tell me!

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