Saturday, April 02, 2005

Meet Virginia (part II)

Perhaps one of the things I miss the most about living in Pennsylvania are the mountains. Living here in Delaware, one really gets used to living on a flat, sandy, wet landscape. Until this little trip of mine, I forgot what it was like to drive up a hill and down the other side.

Virginia is home to part of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain. And my folks just happen to live smack dab in front of them. This is the view from the road that goes in front of their house:

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They are certainly not the Rockies by any means, but it is a change in elevation. And that is what I needed. So I loaded a pack with water, food, a camera and off I went. It's nearly 1.5 miles from the bottom to the summit. A rugged hike on some pretty rough terrain.
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A mile and a half is a lot more difficult than it seems when you're going vertical. Two hours later, and 3,875 feet higher, I was at the top of the world, or so it felt.
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To breathe deeply and not have car exhaust and chemical plant smog fill your lungs is priceless. To sit and enjoy the tranquility of nature without hearing thunderous car stereo systems or drunken college students is enough to ease even the pressures of the most stressful lives. This is my retreat. My getaway. My moment of zen if you will.
At the top of the mountain, the National Park Service has built a shelter amongst the boulders in the event of severe weather. More pictures can be seen here.
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The day was perfect. I couldn't ask for anything more. For someone who hasn't taken a vacation in over three years, all it took was a morning trek to wipe the stress slate clean.

Truly living life to it's fullest means different things to different people. Some seek adventure, some seek fame and fortune. I seek appreciation. Appreciation for life itself.