Ever wake up in the morning and you just know you have to go somewhere, anywhere? That is how yesterday, September 7, 2019 was for me. Actually it is like that almost every day, but today I had to do something about it. After finishing our coffee and taking showers, Rita and I gathered our gear – I gathered the gear, she grabbed the ever important water bottles (I am being serious). The destination was truly unknown, but when we departed we were headed to Lynchburg, Virginia – we never made it.
About 10 minutes into the drive we decided we would head to Lost River State Park and Blackwater Falls, two locations we had visited a few years ago and really liked. The Lost River area was also a location where we had seen some bald eagles and the opportunity to see them again was a deciding factor.
When we finally arrived at the state park, it was not nearly as memorable as our first visit, primarily because the leaves had not started to change (this was expected). That said, the park is beautiful and would be a nice place to go for a picnic. Side note – the bathrooms have been remodeled and they were very nice and clean. As we left the park and headed up the back way to Davis and along the route we encountered the eagles, we were met with disappointment. No eagles or birds of any kind were visible (possibly the time of the day). We did stop to grab a pic from a scenic overlook we used before.
Scenic view near Lost River State Park
On the road down the mountain I decided that going to Blackwater Falls might taint my earlier impression, so I thought of other locations that might be of interest. Since my hips are still recovering, it had to be someplace relatively easy to walk or at least offered the option of less walking. I decided and Rita agreed that Seneca Rocks might be nice. We have been there once before and enjoyed it. After seeing southern Utah and the Grand Canyon, it is nowhere near as impressive, but it is nice.
While driving to Seneca Rocks, I remembered that my friend Jeff had said Dolly Sods was nice. I had no idea what Dolly Sods was, but I knew we passed it along the way. Seeing the sign to turn right, I did, and we headed for Dolly Sods. Not what I was expecting. It turns out Dolly Sods is a wilderness area with breathtaking scenery if you hike to it. Real hiking was not on the cards just yet, so we drove, and drove, and drove the rugged dirt road. It was very reminiscent of the roads in Haiti that I traveled during a mission trip a few years ago. Rough, ridiculously perilous drop offs – at times you are driving along a cliff with the bottom hundreds of feet away – rough (did I say that already), and areas not wide enough for two vehicles. Now that I know what to expect, I will definitely be returning either this fall or next, and hiking to some of the spectacular views.
After many miles of dirt roads, we left the mountain and proceeded to head to Seneca Rocks. It is amazing how some bumpy gravel roads can make you appreciate the smoothness of pavement.
Arriving at the park, we decided that hiking the full trail might put too much strain on my body, so we took an easy path. We made our way across the foot bridge to the homestead. The bridge beckons to be photographed. While a great portion of this trail has barriers and prevents you from leaving the trail, once we crossed the bridge I noticed that others had been like minded and had created a path down to the river bed. I made my first “cross country” trek down to the river. The scenery was quite nice but my mind kept imagining what this would look like in the fall. Fortunately with the power of Lightroom, I was able to translate the photo into what I imagined. Here is a little before and after:
The remainder of the “hike” was relatively easy and gave me hope that my hips are on the path to full recovery. The homestead area was very nice and the garden area with the historic descriptions and references to the vegetables and plants grown was educational. We then made our way up the north fork path, but rather than risk the one mile hike to the observation area (next time) we cut across to return to the parking area.
Seneca Rocks is a lovely location to visit and is more of a “getaway and have a picnic” location, so be prepared if you decide to spend the day.
Full size images are viewable in my Flickr Album