Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Come summer, with its 90/90 days (heat/humidity) the last thing on most of our minds is a long hike in the woods. Oceans of sweat, acres of trail-clogging cobwebs, no hydration pack big enough to sate your insatiable thirst. Very understandable, this hike aversion — if you don’t know where to go. For if you do, there are plenty of trails — from North Carolina’s steamy coast, to the stuffy Piedmont to the sun-drenched high country — ideal for summer exploring.
Back in the old days – meaning before I got a GPS – I knew I’d been on a good hike when I couldn’t wait to get home and perform a topopsy. That would be a postmortem in which I would get out a topo map and try to figure out why, instead of going from Point A to Point B, I’d wound up at Q. Nothing quite like that post-hike thrill of figuring out that you should have gone left at the junction just past the beech cove rather than right, which, it turns out, dumps you in the backyard of a rustic type with a fondness for easily-angered dogs and cinderblocked pickups bearing bumper stickers of a laissez-faire theme.
The plan was to go backpacking at Mount Rogers, a plan that was ultimate done in by it’s inspiration
A winter trip to the highest, most exposed part of Virginia during one of the snowiest winters in recent memory? Epic! But then the area got an additional foot of snow last week on top of an existing foot (sending drifts up over six feet from their original four, according to an advisory posted on the Web site for Grayson Highlands State Park, which adjoins Rogers). Even more snow was forecast overnight. Then a backpacking colleague pointed out that what blazes there are at Mount Rogers (mostly on rocks, since trees are scarce in spots) would likely be covered. Finally, my partner for the trip backed out.