Peeling Pounds on a Hiking Trail

This large, beautiful butterfly was feasting on a thistle flower.
Thistles are my native plant.

I awoke this morning weighing two pounds more than I ought to, so I determined to take that off by early afternoon. Today, that meant a hike up Hay Rock on the Appalachian Trail. Mission accomplished: down two pounds when I got home.

Hay Rock is a climb up Tinker Mountain from Daleville (just outside Roanoke) and it is about a 3.7 mile walk one way and a lot more if you want to continue on the Appalachian Trail.

Apparently, the old trail has come under some disrepair and a new one has been forged–though I didn’t know it on the way up. I fought through a lot of spider webs and high weeds in stretches that should have been beaten trail. I was getting nervous about ticks.

I’ve seen mushrooms in a lot of places, but halfway up the trunk of a tree?

About 3/4 of the way up to the view of the Roanoke Valley, I got light-headed and because I was by myself, I opted for the better part of valor and turned around without reaching the top. Still, I got a brisk two hours of hiking and dropped the pounds.

And, of course, I saw–and photographed–some pretty nature. Here is what it looked like.

More winged creatures feeding.
I thought I might smoke one of these.
Black-eyed Susans: cool, bright flowers.
Sometimes there is color even when there isn’t.
Off to Hay Rock.
Appalachian Power likes this view of our mountains. I don’t.
I forgot my hiking pole, but it was still on my car when I returned.
Railroad dude in his blue cap.
Railroad dude showing his belly that needs to go away.
An interesting walkway on a low–flood-prone–part of the trail.

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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