Last Sunday, we chose the low elevation trail to Lake Powhatan, following a stream. This time we decided to head up. The Blue Ridge Parkway is almost in our backyard (lucky us!), and during the winter, sections of it are often closed due to snow/ice. With the recent warm weather, the problematic snow and ice are relegated to the highest elevations, but the Parkway is closed at Ox Creek. This makes for a lovely vehicle-free hike right on the Parkway itself.
The dogs thought this was awesome. It's not every day you get to walk down the middle of the road! You have to keep an eye on Lucky though. He seems to believe that the most interesting smells are the ones just out of reach, over the side of the mountain. It's easy to get distracted taking photos or examining some interesting rock only to look over and...
ACCCCK!! "Lucky! Get back here!"
|"But I just need to go one more inch...."|
And then we came to the Tanbark Ridge Tunnel. The trail alongside this entrance heads up to the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge, an interesting place to explore in and of itself. But today we're heading north on the Parkway, which means through the tunnel.
I have never walked through any of the tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so this was a first. It was fascinating, and fun, and creepy all at the same time! It was dark inside. VERY dark.
I did not think about the Planet Earth show I watched this weekend on caves, the one about the three million wrinkle-lipped bats that deposit guano in enormous mounds that provide habitat for hundreds of thousands of cockroaches. No, I did not think about that.
Okay, almost through, good... whew!
With a little more climbing we arrived at the Bull Creek Valley overlook, a great spot to rest and check out the surrounding countryside.
The marker in the photo above says that the last buffalo seen in this locality was killed in 1799 by Joseph Rice, an early settler. Way to go, Joe.
Time to turn around and head back. The days are getting longer, but once that sun slips behind the mountain it gets pretty dark out here.
Twilight comes to the mountains and we say goodbye to a lovely day.
Time to go home and watch the Superbowl!