Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Spring!

I absolutely love this time of year. As the temperatures rise (recently to summer-like highs) and the flowers and trees are coming back to life after being dead and dormant all winter, I love spending as much time as possible outside. Something about it just makes me extra happy!

This past weekend was the beginning of Andrew's Spring Break...and mine, too! Andrew's family came in town for Easter, so it was great that we could see everybody. On Saturday we took Andrew's parents for a long walk on the Roanoke River Greenway to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Afterwards, we enjoyed some tasty and refreshing Deb's Lemonade. That evening we had a delicious dinner at my parents' house. On Sunday, after church and lunch at Fork in the City, we went to the arboretum at Virginia Western to take some pictures. We relaxed for a while in the afternoon, and then we finished the evening off with dinner followed by ice cream at Scott & Ellie's in Salem. Good times!

We have really enjoyed having this week off and spending some time together. On Monday we did some yard work and ran some other errands around town. On Tuesday we went to Smith Mountain Lake to see if there were any fish biting. I gave up after about 15 minutes of not catching anything (I prefer "catching" to "fishing"). Andrew, however, is a little more patient (or as he said - just stubborn). He caught a little sunfish (below) and he also had two times when he must have snagged something big because the line broke before he could get it in. The fish might have gotten away this time...but we'll be back!

Yesterday we went for quite a bike ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail. The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches 35 miles from the town of Abingdon in Southwest Virginia through Damascus to the North Carolina State Line near Whitetop, Virginia. We have biked on this trail before, however we have always been shuttled up to the top and biked 17 miles downhill to Damascus. This time, we had the crazy idea of starting in Damascus and biking uphill for 17 miles and then coasting back down for 17 miles. We certainly had our doubts, but I knew we could make it.

Here we are...all ready to go!

The ride up was definitely difficult, but we weren't the only crazy people doing it. The people who were only riding downhill did tell us that we were going the wrong direction a few times. As we started out, the ride wasn't so bad. However, around mile 7 the trail only got steeper as we became increasingly exhausted. After lots of breaks and encouraging each other to keep going, it was such a great feeling to finally see the end in sight; we had made it!

Us in front of Whitetop Station after our long ride up

I took a picture of this sign just to show that we were 17 miles from Damascus, where we had started.

The ride down was very enjoyable, not to mention much faster! We didn't realize how much we were climbing on the way up until we didn't really have to pedal at all on the way down. As we coasted down, I took some pictures of just a few of the beautiful sights along the trail.

After coasting for about 10 miles, we stopped at the Creeper Trail Cafe to reward ourselves with some much-deserved ice cream. It was so yummy! Who do you think is enjoying their ice cream more?

The remainder of the ride was just as fun, but after spending 6 hours on the trail and riding a total of 34 miles, we were exhausted and ready to go home.

Today we are a little sore and tired, but we both had a really great time yesterday. However, I think we'll probably take it easy for the rest of the week!