May 1, 2019

     Every now and then the creek floods and it's a muddy mess.  If it's spring or summer, it looks like the Amazon.  You might think that no one lives within a thousand miles.  But they do.  When the rain stops, you can get up close and watch the river flow.  It might last a day or two, depending on how much rain there was.  Then it slowly drains away and becomes a creek...

July 15, 2018

     This week, we finally make it to the top of Humpback Rocks. The climb takes you through dense woods and  over slippery rocks. Near the top, three trolls and a sphinx guard the trail. Pick them out from a photo below. At the trail head, as you step out of the woods, a U-shaped opening in the rocks gives you a view of the valley to the west. Usually, if the weather is nice, there will already b...

July 1, 2018

      The farm trail from the visitor center at Humpback Rocks leads to a meadow along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the lede photo, the farm trail winds through the woods to the left of the parkway, and takes you to a gate in the split rail fence at the edge of the parkway. As you exit the gate, you cross the road to a picnic area on the right side of the photo. This is the staging area for a climb...

June 15, 2018

      Humpback Rocks is an outcropping of greenstone on the top of Humpback Mountain, which lies at milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just a few miles south of the I-64 overpass at Afton Mountain. At an elevation of 3,080 feet, the greenstone outcropping provides a panoramic view of the George Washington National Forest to the west, the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley to the northwest,...

October 27, 2017

     The edges of town quickly give way to the countryside. This is where the land has memory. From downtown, five miles in any direction will put you on a country road. In some directions, it's no more than three miles. The interstate is only minutes from downtown, and once you're on the interstate, any exit will take you into the countryside. Twenty minutes to the west, and you'll be crossing th...

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