With two births in the family within three days (Watson and Ava, both coming so long before their due dates that they will be NICU residents for many weeks), we wondered if the oddity of hiking every weekend, uninterrupted since mid-2009, might come to an end.
The catch-at-the-end-of-the-weekend was the nearby, convenient, easy, pretty Mill Mountain Star Trail, which we can reach in 10 minutes and climb in about 45, thus having a whole hikette done and walking back into the house in just over two hours.
Many others seemed to have the same kind of plan on this pleasant Sunday evening, as the parking lot had six or so cars in it, we crossed several sets of hikers on the way down as we went up, and atop the mountain, there were lots of people. Not all walkers, to be sure, but family clusters and couples not just out by the Star overlook, but all around the grounds. We were visited by several at the picnic table we chose, just down from the pavilion.
And from the nearby zoo came the sounds of a band, part of Mill Mountain Zoo's Sunday evening concert series, adding to the comfortable ambiance atop Roanoke's mountain.
And even as we descended as the evening waned, we crossed a few more people on the way up.
Mill Mountain Star Trail up and down: 3.4 miles
How to get there: Riverland Road just east of Ninth Street bridge to small parking area on the mountain side of the road.