Although you don’t NEED an excuse to head outside and take a hike, I appreciate that the #OPTOUTSIDE tradition continues. It gives me a set date that I know I will be able to do something fun with my nephews while one sister goes Black Friday shopping and the other works.
Dad and I arrived at Mount Magazine late in the afternoon. We were tired from driving so we decided to stay at the lodge there. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It reminded me of the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont, but more modern. After we checked in we decided we may as well hike to the highpoint to save us time in the morning because we had another long day of driving.
I was excited/nervous as Dad and I made our way to the trailhead for Black Mesa in Oklahoma. I figured the hike would be sort of like White Butte in North Dakota, only longer. I thought the hike started at Black Mesa State Park. We pulled in and asked a few people if the hike starts there and one man replied, “Well, you can start the hike here, but it’d take you a day or two!” before giving us directions to the spot a bit farther down the road where the trail ACTUALLY starts.
The first state high point for my recent road trip with my dad was Taum Sauk in Missouri. On the way to the main parking area there is a great lookout that I recommend stopping at.
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.
Another Black Friday – another year I chose to Opt Outside. It has become a tradition to take my nephew and now that I have ANOTHER nephew I figured he could join the fun! I wanted something fairly easy as I was going to be carrying my youngest nephew on my back in one of those packs plus walking JoJo who is always frisky this time of year due to the cold weather. I also wanted to go somewhere I had never seen before. I had read about the White Cliffs of Conoy awhile ago, but never got a chance to check them out so I decided that would be our destination! My dad, both nephews, JoJo and I headed out to the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail and parked at the trailhead in Bainbridge, PA.