Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shenandoah National Park

I just returned from a beautiful visit to Shenandoah National Park during the peak of Autumn foliage season.

My first day was a little bit drizzly so I spent some time in Luray Caverns.

The formations were amazing.

I hiked to the top of Stony Man Mountain.

Autumn foliage as seen from Skyline Drive.

Mountain views from every vista

Row upon row of mountains

A view of Old Rag, a popular spot for climbers

Yet another stunning vista

Can you see the profile of the Stony Man? Me neither.....

Last bit of sunlight on the mountain

On a clear day I hiked to Whiteoak Canyon Falls, at 86 feet the second highest waterfall in the park.

The path was covered with jewel colored leaves.

Another waterfall in Whiteoak Canyon

The woods were filled with gold and orange hues.

Beauty everywhere I looked

Lower Whiteoak Falls

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Acadia National Park

I had a lovely visit to Acadia National Park and spent the time photographing, sightseeing, kayaking, biking, and hiking.

Tuesday August 25
The first day I drove the Park Loop Road stopping often for photographs. Park Loop Road offers the most beautiful views of the park, and this is the side of Acadia most often seen by visitors. The views of cliffs dropping to an azure blue ocean are spectacular, but Acadia is so much more than that.

View from the summit of Cadillac Mountain

Cliffs dropping to the ocean

These are the views Acadia is famous for.

Waves lapping against the cliffs

View from the tree line

The ocean was rough that day.

Acadia is, of course, an artist's paradise. Renee Lammers painting plein air.

Wild roses and rose hips near Thunder Hole

Otter Cliffs

Ocean view

Waves pounding shore

Wildflowers on the cliffs

Sunset from Cadillac Mountain

Wednesday August 26
Today I kayaked in Frenchman Bay. We had beautiful views of Porcupine Islands, home to much of Acadia's wild life. We saw a bald eagle flying overhead.

Our guide pointing out an interesting sight...

Thursday August 27
Today I biked the carriage roads. The carriage roads are 57 miles of beautiful paths twisting through Acadia which were built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. They are ideal for bicycling, running, walking, and horseback riding.

I started out biking around Eagle Lake.

I made a loop by Aunt Betty's Pond for views of lily pads and tranquil water. I saw a turtle splashing in the shallows.

View of Jordan Pond from the bike trail

View of North Bubble and South Bubble from Jordan Pond

I biked past serene Bubble Pond in the afternoon.

Back to Eagle Lake to complete the ride

Friday August 28
Today I hiked several of the beautiful trails on Mount Desert Island.

Beaver Dam Pond

On the summit of Champlain Mountain

Beautiful views of the Porcupine Islands in Frenchman Bay

More views from the summit

The vistas are stunning.

I hiked up to the Bowl, a glacial tarn, which is a circular lake formed by alpine glacier melts.

I hiked the Gorham Mountain Trail, with spectacular vistas.

View of Sand Beach from Gorham Mountain.

View of Champlain Mountain from Gorham Mountain

I spent most evenings in Bar Harbor for dinner and souvenir shopping. Here is a beautiful sunset on the harbor.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ridley Creek State Park - First Picnic of Spring!

Today was a beautiful day for a hike in Ridley Creek State Park and a picnic. Highs were in the mid sixties and the day was sunny and bright, although cool in the shade. We started the day with a nice long hike. The undergrowth is beginning to turn green, and a few early wildflowers are appearing. I had to adjust the straps of my backpack because they no longer have to accommodate a heavy winter coat, which was a great feeling! After our hike, we had a picnic. A few of us brought some kites and also tossed a frisbee around. It was a wonderful start to the Spring hiking season!

Ridley Creek

Another view of Ridley Creek

Undergrowth is green!

Lift off!

Pixie made the rounds looking for some handouts. I think she got some!