An Urban Roanoke Hike
Certain hints of an urban walk: Hiker has no backpack; Ford truck in foreground along a city street; big old house from the glory days of Memorial Avenue, circa 1920, picked as photo focal point by The Day Hiker for its spring-has-sprung front yard.
A seriously rainy weekend kept us out of the woods and onto the greenway toward a place with a roof over it for brunch. In fact, after having foregone the rainy Saturday with hopes for a better Sunday, we started out under umbrellas, making our way first down to the Grandin Village for a cup of Cups coffee to put in one hand while trying to handle the umbrella and a piece of pastry in the other.
We picked numbers, under the drizzle, on the number of walkers, runners and bikers we'd see on our way, and we both came pretty close with the walkers and runners--seven to nine each--and too with the fair-weather bikers, who don't like that muddy streak up the back of their costumes--at pretty much nobody.
We had the umbrellas closed up by about halfway to downtown, and a little closer than that we stopped to visit the lobby of the relatively new Cambria Suites Hotel there at the western end of what has become the Carilion Campus.
Downtown, we scouted only briefly before deciding on the brunch at Horizon, where the omelette and quiche were really good, and the setting for eating was entirely dry and warm.
The route home was not only without rain but also far more direct than the way down, as we walked past the Jefferson Center and through parts of Old Southwest before dropping back down onto the greenway to get back to our part of the city.
Out the front door, down the street to Roanoke River Greenway to city streets to downtown Roanoke and back. About 8 miles.
How to get there: The Roanoke River Greenway has many access points along this section from the Memorial Bridge to Walnut Street.