Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starting Each Day With A Hike

For a resident of the Lowcountry going to bed at night with your bedroom window open and waking up in the morning snuggled under a comforter with 59 degree outdoor temperatures cooling your room is common in late November but not so much in July. That is unless of course, you are in a house at 4000 feet above sea level on vacation at Snowshoe, West Virginia. That is precisely how we greeted each morning on our vacation last week.

Our days began on the large deck of our home overlooking Hawthorne Valley on the Western slope of the mountain. It was awe inspiring to look down upon the clouds and foggy mist in the valley below contrasted with deep blue skies overhead. We enjoyed a morning hike on most days, timing our jaunt along the ridges so that we began the hike before the foggy mist began rising from the valley floor, this enabled us to enjoy some awesome views from the scenic overlooks and vistas along the various trails.

Snowshoe has a fairly intricate network of hiking and biking trails, some are gentle and family oriented and some provide serious cardiovascular challenges with significant elevation changes. Our favorite route of the week was the Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail that provided a 2.2 mile trek out to the rustic Sunrise Hut where we rested on the porch of the hut prior to the return trip along the same route. On the day that we hiked this route we encountered a convoy of green zebra offroad buggies negotiating the trail. The green zebras aren't the only off-road transportation option at Snowshoe, you can also rent special all terain segways as well. For a complete picture of all of the action packed summertime activities available at the mountain resort check out this link.

In addition to the breathtaking mountain views from the trail network, you will also be treated to sightings of wildlife and wild flowers as well as some spectacular red spruce forests. During the week we came face to face with several deer along the trailways and we were even greeted by a skunk on one of our hikes. The trails also gave us some excellent vantage points for some of the very impressive lodging on top of the mountain.

As you could tell in yesterdays blog the morning workouts were fueled by lots of great food and drink and the strenuous activity probably helped us to not gain ten pounds on our vacation. Today there is a heat advisory in effect for the Lowcountry with heat index values predicted to be 114 degrees in the afternoon. We plan to beat the heat by spending the day at the beach. Wherever you are today, I hope that you have a great day and thank you for stopping by From The Land of Palm Trees.

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