Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Visit From Dad

It's been a while since I've done a post on here, but I thought I'd share a little about this summer.

July 6-8 my dad came down to visit here in Roanoke for a few days. We had a good visit, and despite hot weather, were able to do several activities outside. On Tuesday we met for an always good breakfast at Famous Anthony's and then took off for a hike on Dragon's Tooth. The hike is located just west of Catawba, Virginia on SR-311. The hike is relatively short in length (4.6 miles round trip), with half of that one the Appalachian Trail. What makes the hike challenging is the climb, which, at the top has the hiker scrambling over seemingly impassable rocks and using re bar ladders anchored into large boulders. Elevation at the trail head is 1,750 feet and 3,00 feet at the top. That's an elevation change of 1,250 feet over 2.3 miles! Unlike every other time I've done Dragon's Tooth, the trail was empty and, at the top, there was only one other party. We were able to spend a long time at the top admiring the beautiful view.

He made it!

Tuesday evening we had my dad and Lauren's parents over to our house for dinner. We grilled out and had a great time!

Wednesday the outdoor activity continued. We started the day with a delicious breakfast at Tudor's Biscuit World downtown, then took the bikes to the Greenway for a ride. We started at the beginning of the Roanoke River Greenway in Wasena Park, rode the entire Roanoke River Greenway, followed the bike route through a neighborhood, then got on the Tinker Creek Greenway until its terminus. It was a nice ride of about 16 round trip miles.

Wednesday evening we went out for dinner downtown, something Lauren and I don't usually do. We don't have any reason not to, but we rarely go out, and when we do, we go to one of our old faithful favorites. We tried out Tavern on the Market, which was very good, and it was nice to be able to eat outside and try something different.

Thursday turned out to be another day of adventure. I had talked about The Cascades (a trail Lauren and I have hiked multiple times) before, so we decided to drive down after breakfast at The Roanoker, and give our second hike in almost as many days a try. The Cascades are a National Recreation Area located in Pembroke, Virginia, which is west of Blacksburg. It is an easy hike of about 4 round trip miles, with a large waterfall at the end. It's usually hiked as a loop, taking the lower trail which parallels the trout stream to the falls, and the upper trail which is less scenic, but more direct and downhill, out. Our stimulus dollars were hard at work doing work on the upper trail, so we stuck to the more scenic lower trail both in and out. It was a perfect day for the hike, which was evidenced by the number of others who had the same idea. The falls were crowded with people enjoying themselves on the rocks and swimming in the water below the falls. We stopped for lunch at the falls, then headed back to Roanoke.

The falls

People enjoying the day

An old boiler from logging operations in the 1930s

It was a great couple days and the most hiking I've done in quite awhile. It was nice getting to be outside and to spend some time with my dad.

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