Rainy Fall Colors

Determined to enjoy a hike with Fall colors we headed to Hanging Rock State Park. Instead of the popular Hanging Rock trail, we took the Moore's Wall Trail. It was a really pretty hike, but went from drizzly rain to total cloud/fog color at the top. It includes a nice walk along the ridge, but not a single view this day.

Photos with my Canon G12 and SOOC -- tried using Squarespace app on the iPad to post this entry, but ended up using the regular web interface to re-arrange things.

50mm Charleston

Unfortunately we didn't have much time in Charleston aside from the soccer itself, but we did make a trip to the historic areas for a quick walk around the waterfront. I just grabbed my camera with the 50mm on it and off we went. I had considered getting up really early and heading downtown alone to get a chance for some creative photography, but a room above us leaking into our hotel room at 4am scuttled those plans!

So here's Charleston in 50mm! (Oh and the photos were also taken/metered using the unintended Spot Metering settings, but I guess I got lucky that the area metered wasn't solid bright/dark.)

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What a fantastic weather weekend!! Too bad I was on-call. But I didn't let it stop me from getting out in the great weather. Yesterday I took Noodle on a walk/hike on Sal's Branch trail at Umstead and while we walked I realized that it would be a perfect first trail run for me. I had intentions of getting out first thing this morning after I dealt with some planned work. Naturally, the work wasn't over at 8am as planned, but rather 12noon. I decided to head out anyway, knowing it would be MUCH warmer than I'd hoped and that the trails would be full of people. Both turned out true, but it was a great little 2.5 mile run anyway. These are photos from yesterday when I took our newest daypack out on a test run along with my new-ish Canon G12 camera.

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Back to Pocosin Lakes

We headed back to Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge today. We got very lucky the first time we went and saw three bears right away. We keep seeing signs (tracks & scat) but no bears since. Today we saw a number of Bald Eagles and probably as close we've ever been to one. Seeing them sitting in a field makes you realize how big they are -- you can see them from quite a distance. Both of these photos are cropped a good bit.


This Weekend: Stone Mountain State Park

And here's two photos from our afternoon hike at Stone Mountain State Park. We knew we probably weren't up for (or had time for) the full Stone Mountain Loop trail. So we opted for a loop combining the Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock trails, which gave us a nice view to the West from Wolf Rock, and a nice view of Stone Mountain from Cedar Rock. Again we got lucky avoiding the crowds (despite the parking lot being overflowing) -- only saw a handful of people.

Amazing how green the trees were after seeing peak fall colors in SW Virginia a few hours earlier.

Can you spot the rock climbers making their way up?

This Weekend: Grayson Highlands/Rhododendron Gap

The better photos from our Grayson Highlands/Rhododendron Gap hike. It was impressed at how many people were out on the trails this weekend -- SO many hikers and most of them seemed to be backpacking. We managed to stay 'ahead' of most of them getting a semi-early start and we only passed two hikers on the descent until we hooked back up with the Wilburn Ridge and AT.

Fall colors from the pullout overlook on the drive up to Massie Gap.

Me on a ridge along the AT before dropping down into Rhododendron Gap. I SO want to camp here one day -- G is not so convinced.

G along the AT in the Rhododendron Gap section. He's about to walk thru a tunnel of rhododendron -- would love to see it when they are blooming.

This Weekend: iPhone Photos

Perfect day to hike. 40 degrees to start, but we quickly shed layers. Amazing how much easier hiking was from the last time we were in Grayson Highlands. I guess jogging three times a week does have its benefits! We hiked to Rhododendron Gap and improvised a "loop" using the Rhododendron, the Virginia Highlands, AT, Crest, and Rhododendron Gap trails. Then we headed to Stone Mountain State Park and hiked a smaller loop of the Wolf Rock, Cedar Rock, and Stone Mountain Loop trails. About 10 miles total for the day!

Better pics later, but I don't have my card reader or cord, so these are iPhone photos. Oh, and here's the route.

View Massie Gap to Rhododendron Gap in a larger map

This Weekend: Off to Hike!

This blog isn't getting much attention, but hopefully I'll have some photos to post after the weekend. We're off to do some day hiking in Grayson Highlands State Park and the Mount Rogers area.

I don't think I've ever been up there in the Fall, so we'll see if it looks any different. Not sure if I'll lug my heavy camera or go light and just bring my iPhone. We'll see.

This photo is from June 2011.