The Staycation…Falling In Love With Our Backyard Again

It  is Memorial Day Weekend, time for fun in the sun and a long weekend getaway right? Wrong, with temperatures in the 50’s and RAIN predicted all weekend we decided our annual tent camping/hiking trip might not be as relaxing as last year if we spent all our time drenched and cold. So we are officially staycationing!

We have vowed to spend our holiday weekend, albeit wet and soggy, doing the activities we had intended to do while camping in the Smokies…hiking and spending time as a family!  My husband, John, and I kicked off the weekend on Thrusday afternoon with a 4.2 mile hike along Chestnut Ridge section of the Appalachian Trail.  It only took us about 2 hours and we were home by the time the kids got home from school (their last day). While the weather didn’t permit much of a view at the top, the highest peak on this section of the AT, the fog in the fields was majestic anyway.

We are blessed to live in the mountains, although we often do not take advantage of the fantastic hiking options in our backyard.  The Appalachian Trail runs all through the Appalachian Mountains in which we live, making staycationing for a hiking family an easy fix! We are also taking a step back and looking at our hometown with “vacation eyes.”  While on vacation, every little local establishment is “cute” and serves “amazing” dishes.  My theory is that most of those places would be run-of-the-mill if you lived in that town.  So we are hitting up local restaurants and events as if we don’t eat there twice a week for lunch!

Friday, we  headed back to Burkes Garden, Virginia to hike another section of the Appalachian Trial from Virginia Route 623, hiking south to explore some fossilized arthoplycus embedded in the rocks along the trail.

Saturday brought porch-sitting on our friends’ farm in beautiful Bland County while reconnecting and resting our weary legs.  We enjoyed the first signs of summer as the kids chased lightning bugs in the yard!

After an incident with an evil bug and swollen foot, we were unable to hike in Damascus, Virginia on Monday as anticipated, so we opted for a tram ride into the Bluestone Canyon at Pipestem State Park near Athens, West Virginia.  The Bluestone River runs through that part of the park, making it perfect for skipping rocks and wading.  A blanket and picnic supplies made for the perfect day!

What type of adventures can you find in your backyard?

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