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Kurt's Hikes: Fall
Aden in the middle of Bottom Creek, 10/13/13.
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Kurt's Hikes: Fall
Moose in the middle of Catawba Creek with washed-out bridge behind, 10/20/13.
September 28: Home to Roanoke Memorial, downtown Roanoke and back. About 6 miles.
What better hike destinations than to visit granddaughter Ava, growing by the day in the NICU at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and then on to dinner at Wasabi's in downtown Roanoke.
Those kinds of places to stop just seem to be more compelling than the likes of McAfee Knob or Tinker Cliffs to The Day Hiker these days. And hey, with a time-crunched weekend, it's not the worst thing in the world to combine your hikin' with your date night. Not even to mention beautiful little Ava, who has nearly doubled her weight since her way-too-early birth on August 25.
And the walk home from a nice dinner is always quick and short.
October 6: Poor Mountain Nature Preserve trails: 3.8 miles.
This easy set of trails turned out, in retrospect, to be big-dog Cookie's last hike for a time, as within a couple weeks, she underwent surgery for the predicted other-rear-leg breakdown--a fate that apparently befalls many of her partly Lab breed.
She and co-hiker puppy Moose enjoyed the lunch stop best, as did The Day Hiker, of course--the dogs for the water, the lady for the lunch and view of the playing dogs.
October 13: Bottom Creek Nature Preserve trails: 5.2 miles.
No dogs on this walk--they're not allowed in this preserve--but son Eric and grandson Aden did come along, with Aden running parts of the trails in preparation for the Fincastle 5K coming up the next weekend.
At the view-of-falls lunch spot, we not only had a great lunch, with cool food variety and the falls flowing pretty well, but also met a young lady running, and wondering if we'd seen "a tall thin guy running." We hadn't, but he did happen by before we left, looking for her and announcing that they were going to be married the following weekend. This announcement provided The Day Hiker with a nice "aw-so-sweet" moment.
The walk out was too easy as always.
October 20: Andy Layne and Appalachian Trail to Tinker Cliffs and back: 7.2 miles.
We debated taking big Cookie but decided not to, given the length of the walk and her recent slow, begrudging pace on hikes; good thing too, I guess, as it was that evening that the leg gave way.
Along on the hike was wacky, indefatigable dog Moose, whose combination of youth and strength renders her not only just about unleashable, but also a mini-terror in the woods as she meets--and yaps at--oncoming hikers.
She did calm a little at the cliffs, occasionally tucking herself under a rock to rest for a minute or two.
On down the trail, back at the car, back home: same relentless dog, a terrible teen in person years.