Blue Springs Gap

For this trip, I did not want to go tent camping.  Jon’s compromise was a Virginia cabin in a secluded area with no water.  But it did have a toilet.  Toilets are not guaranteed in our adventures.

IMG_5524The drive through the Virginia countryside has gorgeous views of farms, horses, and unique houses.

IMG_5578Many of the farms were growing Christmas trees.

IMG_5540Our cabin on Mount Rogers NRA was great (US Forest Service), even if occasionally frequented by zombies.  Thank you, random creative guest.

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IMG_5799We planned to spend some time in the Mount Rogers area, and I do recommend a quick visit to Homer’s Rock for the amazing view.

IMG_5481Those plans quickly changed when we discovered Grayson Highlands State Park.  We were more impressed with this park than many of the national parks that we have visited.  Grayson Highlands has an amazing mix of wooded trails (including a section of the Appalachian Trail), wild ponies, streams for wading, and rocks for scrambling.

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IMG_5753IMG_5816Next Stop:  Where it all began… Continue reading

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Kachemek Bay State Park

Our last stop in Alaska was a ferry ride over to Kachemek State Park (other than the awesome Bear Tooth Theaterpub in Anchorage while waiting for a very late flight).

Day 10 (29)You have to hire a private boat company, but the process was very easy.  Disclaimer:  this was not their busy season.  We saw more sea otters, and really, can you have too many sea otters?

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The ferry staff was happy to help us choose a trail, and we arranged our drop off and pick up point.  This was a little more structured than we like, but we did not want to miss the boat and spend the night with the bears either.

Day 10 (47)The Grewingk Glacier Trail is beautiful, and the glacier is about halfway around.  We were able to stay by the lake for a nice rest and lunch.  Not a bad view!

Day 10 (162)Pieces of ice are continually breaking off, and they form really interesting shapes as they melt.  I particularly liked Puff the Magic Iceberg…

Day 10 (204)The trail back to shore was steep in places, but it was lovely.

Day 10 (300)I hope you enjoyed our trip to Alaska.  Our travels will continue in no particular order…

Next stop:  The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA