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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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.
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.