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Summer Hike: What a Difference a Day Makes

Saturday’s rain created Monday’s mushrooms.

I have joined the official Complain About the Weather Hiking and Cooking Club and today’s topic is summer hiking, when you can go from arctic sailboat gear to nudist beach attire in a single bound.

The sun plays in (on) the weeds.
The creek meanders through Hanging Rock Park.

Saturday, it was flood gear up at Happy Hollow Gardens near Valhala Vinyards and today, it was the sweat-soaked Confederate hills of Hanging Rock where it wasn’t the temperature, it was the humidity to quote Mark Twain (or Shakespeare or the Bible).

This was proper gear Saturday.

My hiking buddy Susan and I braved the torrents of rain and mud to traipse across the normally pristine hills of Happy Hollow Saturday and I did a solo, listening for Rebel yells, at Hanging Rock, where a Civil War battle was fought about 150 years ago and where a bronze Confederate General greets you at the entrance (if the mountain bikes haven’t run over you yet).

I will note for prosperity–or posterior–that Hanging Rock Trail is the most consistently noisy hike in the entire Roanoke Valley, owing to its proximity to I-81, where considerable construction is magnifying the noise.

More mushrooms along the trail.
That’s Susan all covered up behind me on the bridge.
We set up our picnic here.
All set, even with a mask.
Read the shirt.
I’m always on the lookout for a good potty and this is one.
A pair of bridges over the creek at Hanging Rock.
Hanging Rock is named for … well … a hanging rock.
Pampa in dappled light with conflicting color all around, still looks the same.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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