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We Are Flying Solo

June 8, 2013

Beauty Discovered: A Ride Through The Rogers Neighbourhood

This OTTB doubles as an ATV
While insanity rages on everywhere else, I am already full of desire to return to my new favourite riding hideaway.  Where the only sound is one of horseshoes on rock, the soft creak of oiled leather, the quiet blow of breath through wide nostrils, the wind rustling secretively in treetops.  Where as you climb up the side of the mountain, your view is framed by attentive brown ears and the sunlight is filtered by beech leaves, which hide spring warblers.  Where, as you zigzag back and forth across the worn Appalachian Trail, you are equally likely to encounter a longhorn steer, a feral pony, a placid mule, or a staggering backpacker (poor silly buggers, WALKING, I can't believe I ever did such things). 

When you reach the wind-stripped grassy balds on the roof of this world, you can't help but catch your breath at the ancient beauty of weathered rock, once an ocean floor, and a patchwork of dark and light, evergreens scattered amid the paler greens of deciduous trees and wiry grass.  It seems like there is never enough time to take it all in before you, like the crystalline streams rushing beneath the rhododendron, must tumble back down the boulder-strewn hillside to camp.

This is Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, a jewel we have chased for years and only now gotten to  experience for ourselves, thanks to a generous invite from our farrier and his family.  Alongside it, the equally majestic Grayson Highlands State Park, both in VA  We stomped over about 18 miles of trails on Saturday and perhaps 8 or 9 on Sunday.  When can we go back?

It's not easy being green...in the parking lot
A handsome pondering of the climb.
Pete sees an opening to fuel up...
What happens when you point in front of a 5-year-old
Hey, take my picture!
Erm...that doesn't look like Encore...
Ummm...over here...
Are you drunk? Or hanging off the side of your horse?
See, like this!  Pete strikes a handsome pose at the top.
The Scales.  A historic livestock weigh station.
All trails go up.
Feral ponehs!
The ponies check us out in Grayson Highlands State Park.
Farrier and his boys get a closer look.
Squeeeeee!
It's a wee bit rocky...
You got anything good for lunch???
Beautiful balds.
The group reaches the summit in Grayson Highlands.

Too...much...pretteh...must...stop...camera...

But I wasn't the only one enjoying the view...THANK YOU, JOHNATHAN AND DONNA!

8 comments:

  1. Looks Like An amazingTrip! And I Have No Idea Why My Phone is Capitalizing EveryThing.

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  2. GAHHH LOOK AT THE CUTE LITTLE BABY PONY!!!

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  3. Hee, doncha just want to squeeze his wee furry little ears and kiss them???!

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  4. So freaking cool! Almost beats spending the weekend at Lumber River...;)

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  5. Hee hee, Me, I know (I always agree with me after all, I'm awesome...oh wait...). I am sad to have missed Lumber River but a little less sad after I nearly dissolved in a puddle of sweat today, omg! I also got to give Solo some love and ride time, though, so it was sweat well spent!

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  6. What an awesome place to go riding!

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  7. It totally is! Everyone should go right now! Hang on, I'll meet you there!

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