Stony Valley Rail Trail

It has been a long time since I have hiked or cycled the Stony Valley Rail Trail.  My friend, Laura, was the one who first showed me this trail and we explored various sections – especially the abandoned town of Rausch Gap.  The Appalachian Trail also goes through this area so there are miles of hiking and cycling that can be done.  I have been looking for new places to take my nephew bike camping so Kevin and I grabbed our bikes one sunny day and headed out to see if there were any campsites near the trail that we could get to with our bikes.

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One Day Hike

I think I first heard of the One Day Hike from reading other blogs.  It is a non-competitive hike that is held every year.  People start at about 3 AM in Washington DC and hike up the C&O Canal ending just past Harpers Ferry, WV.  They have until midnight to complete their hike.  There is also a 30 mile option.  I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to try either of those yet, so I saw they needed bike patrol volunteers.  This is something I wanted to try for a long time.  I often see cyclists at races, biking the course with runners.  Honestly, half the time that I am doing a race I am wishing for my bike anyway – so this seems like a pretty good compromise!  I contacted Frank, the coordinator, and requested a shift.

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Bikepacking Trip – Day 1

I was supposed to bikepack the GAP and C&O trails from Pittsburgh to DC on my week of vacation, but a hurricane decided to crash my trip so after going through MANY backup plans I decided to still go, but cut my trip short.  I was having trouble finding a train ticket for my bike, finding a ride, finding hotels…etc.  After MUCH research I decided to start at Harpers Ferry where my dad dropped me off, bike to White’s Ferry and take the ferry across.  From there a shuttle would pick me up and take me to my hotel in Leesburg, VA.  The next day I’d take the shuttle back over to the C&O trail and continue into DC where I would spend the rest of the week cycling around the city.  I haven’t been to DC in….I can’t even tell you when the last time was.

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This year when I was setting up my Christmas tree I was just not happy with all the old ornaments I have had for YEARS.  They are just very generic ones that anyone could get at any major store – nothing personal about it.  I remember being a kid and almost all of the ornaments on the tree had a special meaning – either my sisters and I MADE them or they had some other significance (1st Christmas, etc).  Thinking about this made me realize my tree was pretty drab and how I could personalize it better.

I am a big fan of supporting local artists and shops on Etsy (In case you don’t know Etsy is a website that sells only handmade or vintage items), so I set out to see what kind of ornaments I could find to “spruce” up my tree (see what I did there??  🙂 haha!)  OK – bad jokes aside I found several LOVELY ornaments that would let me bring my love of the outdoors in!  Then I thought, why don’t I share these with all my outdoorsy friends on my blog – and have a giveaway with one!  (We will get to the giveaway in a sec)

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Pulpit Rock, PA

Yesterday I was feeling better so JoJo and I headed out to Hamburg, PA to hike to Pulpit Rock which is along the Appalachian Trail – it was an absolutely perfect day for a hike too!  I didn’t want to waste it as the entire week was beautiful and I was sick the whole time!  :/

We pulled into the Hamburg Reservoir – I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was so packed with cars because this is a very popular hike, but it was Friday so I wasn’t expecting it to be as busy as it was.  We found a spot and headed down the trail – it is a road walk for a little while until you see signs for the Windsor Furnace – there are several trails to take at this point, but I chose to turn right, cross over a small bridge and stay to the right along the Appalachian Trail up to Pulpit Rock.  The other trails bypass Pulpit Rock, but I honestly like the view from there better than the Pinnacle which is almost completely covered in graffiti.  There are also a few telescope towers right next to Pulpit Rock that is on the property of the Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society – there are signs stating it is private property, but as far as I know they are ok with people walking through – I even have friends that were invited to join them when they were having a meeting and got to see planets and solar flares during a day hike!  How awesome!

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4 day/3 night backpacking food list

Tomorrow JoJo and I leave for a 4 day 3 night section hike along the AT and I wanted to share what I will be taking along with me to eat.  I plan on eating a big breakfast tomorrow AM before I drive to the trail head.

only thing not shown is popcorn- still have to pick that up!

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Maryland and West Virginia State Highpoints

I’m not exactly sure what got me interested in hiking all the state highpoints.  I like hiking and seeing new places- so why not right?  So after much planning, my dad and I set off to conquer 3 state highpoints – that was the plan anyway.  I follow the Summit Chicks blog and got a lot of information about the highpoints from them as well as various other sites.  I saw that you could potentially get 3 highpoints in 1 day – WV, MD and PA.  Always up for a challenge, I started making plans for a road trip with my dad and JoJo.  We saw that Skyline Drive was fairly close to Spruce Knob, the West Virginia highpoint and I have always wanted to see Shenandoah National Park so we decided to take the scenic route to our 1st highpoint.

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