A break in the heat, led to an early morning hike today. Continuing our trek on the New River Trail, we hiked from Fries (pronounced Freeze???) to Byllesby Dam. We have now completed 45 miles of the 57 mile trail.
The trail beginning in Fries.
The first part of the trail was so beautiful that we had to stop about every 5 minutes so JG could take pictures.
Noticing all the rocks in the river, we decided it would NOT be ideal for kayaking.
We got to Fries Junction – where the trail branches off into two trails.
Once we passed the junction, the trail got a little creepy. First there was this:
Somehow, I managed to walk right beside it and not even see it until JG said “well that’s a snake.” Fortunately, it was dead. I’ve been hiking for 5 years and this is the first time I’ve seen a snake. But of course, I was much more alert for the rest of the hike.
Shortly after seeing the snake, we heard some unidentifiable noises coming from the woods. Most likely birds, but we were a little on edge so it seemed creepier than it probably was.
The river became slower as we neared the dam and that made for ideal breeding ground for whatever likes to grow in marshy areas. We did spot this stoic heron.
And this sophisticated web.
But then it got a little boring, and we were happy to see the car waiting for us at the dam.
Going back to Fries to pick up the other car, we decided to eat at this little diner that we discovered on a previous trip.
Maybe the bread was a little stale, and the tomato not totally fresh, but we were so hungry that we happily ate our BLT’s and watched the rain come. One thing I’ve learned, is that if you want to do something in Southwest Virginia, you have to do it early in the morning or you will have to battle Mother Nature.