Friday, February 17, 2017

End of 2016–Georgia

After having a great time in Virginia, I headed to Georgia to visit family, friends and doctors!  As I usually do, I stayed at Fort Yargo state park for a couple of weeks in November.   Then I headed to the north Georgia mountains and stayed in Dillard while visiting  my mom in mid – late November.

I was in Dillard when the South East had a lot of wildfires and a couple of the fires were too close!  One of the fires was 6 – 8 miles away from my RV park so we had a good bit of smoke depending on the wind.  Another fire was not far from my mom’s condo.

Sunrise, but this is smoke not fog!

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Sunset, again not fog!

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The wind was keeping the smoke away from my side of the road!!

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They used helicopters to get water from a lake and drop it over some of the fires.  This was taken out of my mothers sunroof as we were driving down the road.

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For a couple of weeks in December, I went back to Jekyll Island.  This is a campground that is not one of my favorites, but I love the area so I put up with the campground!

While there, they had an extremely high tide.

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On some of my bike rides I saw several Hooded Mergansers, both male and female.

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Bridge on the bike path -

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Another bridge on a foggy day -

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Skimmers, one of my favorite sea birds, taking a bath. 

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After Jekyll, I headed back to Dillard where we had a family gathering for Christmas.

Wow, I am late but I finally finished up 2016.  In Jan and Feb of 2017 I am visiting state parks along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Alabama.  I am currently in Topsail Hill Preserve state park where it is  65 degrees, so as soon as I post this blog I am going to bike to the beach.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Max Meadows, VA

Once again I am way behind.  I am going to try to finish up 2016 in the next couple of blogs. 

I stopped at Max Meadows, VA on my way south Oct 14 - 20.  I wanted to ride the New River Trail in Southern Virginia again.  This has become one of my favorite rail trails.  I rode parts of it 4 times while there. I still haven’t done the Foster Falls end yet, I hope to do that part soon.

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I also went back and did the Virginia Creeper trail.  Again, I took the shuttle to the top and then basically coasted down hill for 17 miles.  The last couple of miles you do have to pedal more!  One of my long term goals is to get in better shape so that I can ride up hill  and then back down.  Pictures from the trail are below.

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Another day, I visited Grayson Highlands State park and did a short hike.  During the hike, I saw several wild ponies that the park is known for.  While the ponies are wild (although too used to humans), they were released by the forest service in 1975 to help control the growth of brush along the bald mountain tops.  The first picture is on the drive to the park.  The leaves were close to peak color.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Fayetteville, WV–New River Gorge National River

October 7 – 13, I went to Fayetteville, West Virginia.  I stayed at the Riftrafters campground just a few miles from the New River.

The day I got there, I headed to the visitor center and walked to a viewpoint of the bridge.  It was a bit foggy!

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The New River Bridge is the worlds largest single arch steel span bridge and in America is the 2nd highest bridge at 876 feet above the river.

I only hiked short hikes since my foot was still bothering me.  My favorite was the Endless Wall trail in the New River Gorge National River park. 

The trail was a fun easy trail and the view from the Diamond Point Overlook was great.  I sat for a short break and enjoyed my apple and the view!

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A couple of mornings I drove to Badcock State Park to see the grist mill.

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I learned that West Virginia has some funky backroads.  On some of these roads they only paved 1 – 1.5 lanes even though the traffic was 2 way.  If you met somebody both cars needed to pull over a bit, in most cases while still moving.  I guess it saved money because these roads are not used much and I didn’t pass much traffic but in some cases the roads were so windy that you could not see cars coming around the curves.  A bit dangerous but beautiful.  I drove on one of these roads on my way to Buck Creek Falls. In this case there was not much room to pull over if you met somebody coming the other direction.

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The falls were beautiful!

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After visiting the falls, I drove the scenic way back to the campground and stopped at the Grandview area of the New River Gorge park

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Of course, I had to find the biking in the area.  So I went to the Greenbrier River Trail.  I had planned on going to one area and ride 10 miles one way and turn around to make a nice 20 mile trip.

Well ----

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My plans changed pretty quickly.  I did watch one guy go around/thru this.  But I decided it wasn’t worth it.   So I turned around after just a few miles, but then I went to another part of the trail which was really neat! 

This part of the trail had some great old railroad bridges.  These bridges were built in the 1920’s.

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And it had tunnels -

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The picture below was taken on the other side of tunnel.  Its a bit hard to see, but this picture was taken on a bridge and at the far end is the tunnel.  (2 bikers stopped to take pictures)

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On my way to and from this trail I went through a beautiful valley with more skinny roads.  On the way I passed this old church or school building. 

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I also biked a trail that was in the New River Gorge National River park, the Southside trail.  I didn’t go far as it was more of a walking trail than a biking trail.  While I enjoy biking on dirt trails I like the ones that are not too bumpy and muddy!  If I were to do this trail again, I would walk it not bike it.

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