Showing posts with label Adventures on the Gorge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adventures on the Gorge. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Fall Foliage

I love the mid-Atlantic region during every season of each year. As summer comes to a close, I am a bit sad that the window of opportunity for hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing is coming to a close.  I feel a rush to cram in as much outdoor activity as possible, before the snow flies.  And yet, the gorgeous color palette of autumn in this area more than makes up for having to put shoes back on my feet.

I am a little far-reaching in what I consider the mid-Atlantic. Therefore, from as far north as the Adirondacks in New York, as far west Central West Virginia, as far south as the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and everywhere in between the fall foliage viewing reigns supreme.  

Let me try to show you why I believe this.

Blue Heron photograph by Nancy Rotenberg

Adirondack Park, New York --  The Adirondack Park was established in 1892 in New York and is the largest park in the lower 48 states.  I have spent some time in the Adirondacks during one summer (July) and it was a wonderful experience.  I dream of returning during the autumn. I would love to sit lakeside, in the peaceful setting, and watch the autumn colors of the Adirondack Mountains dancing on the smooth lake water.

Gauley River Photograph by Raymond Gehman
Fayette, West Virginia -- West Virginia is a magical state in regards to flora and fauna.  I have made many Sunday drives through portions of the state but I haven't seen half as much as I have wanted to.  I want to spend a length of time in Central West Virginia.  It turns out that my oldest son beat me to it.  Through work, he went to the Fayette area and rafted the white water of the Gauley River.  The rafting adventure was amazing and he encourages me to go.  I will at some point. Can you imagine seeing the fall foliage from rafts in the river? Breath-taking.  If you look closely, you can see the shapes of the rafts in the photograph.  



Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC photograph by Panoramic Images
Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina) -- I've driven down a good portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We went at a leisurely pace and stopped at many of the over overlooks just to look and breathe.  Again, I went during the summer or late summer months.  I intend on making the drive again, with some overnight stops, during the autumn.  I can't even imagine the blues of the mountains (for which they were named) in combination with the firey colors of falling leaves.  I want to drive every mile of the 469 mile mountain top miracle. 

The beauty of the mid-Atlantic is that I don't have to drive that far to find beauty.  I can find it within minutes of my own home.  


Written by Dawn Rae
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Region: Choosing an Ideal Place for a Brief Vacation

Snow and snow days were the topic of discussion during the entire mid-Atlantic 2013 - 2014 winter season.  It seemed the students were out of school more than they were in school.  Even though the snow and cold is long gone, it is difficult to stop thinking about the topic of inclement weather and snow days.

Our schools have been left scrambling to make-up all of these educational hours that were lost. Some schools have applied for waivers for make-up days, so that fewer days need to be squeezed into the calendar somewhere. All schools have adjusted their calendars.  The last day of school has been pushed later by several days to a week, or more, in almost all districts.

I am sharing this information because it impacts summer vacation and travel. Both time available and plans that had already been made. It is also heavy on my mind because special education schools that already have an “extended year” program (the equivalent of summer school as a part of the normal curriculum) seem to be taking a really heavy hit.

In other words, because I work in an extended year school setting, I am only having a long weekend as a break for our first summer break. You see, we typically have 7 - 14 days off in June and a slightly longer break in the late summer, before the public school year resumes.  
Overlook at Green Ridge State Forest


Like most humans, because I feel restricted, I suddenly want it all.  I can’t stop thinking about what I could be doing if I had the time.  We have so many highly rated places to see and things to do in this area.  I’ve only scratched the surface of things to see and I want to return to every one of the places I’ve already experienced.

Only one long weekend for break. Oh the decisions I need to make.

I could head to the mountains for a week of primitive camping and hiking at Green Ridge State Forest in western Maryland. A place so beautiful and diverse that I would live there if I could.

I could head to the beach, dig my toes into the warm sand, and hang out with the ponies at Assateague Island.  Of course, this time I would stop and sit a spell at the beautiful visitor center on my way in.

Maybe I will finally book my maiden visit at the Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campgound. I rarely want to stay at a campground that isn’t primitive tent camping, but I really want to stay here.

orchids at Longwood Gardens
Or I could finally visit the New River Gorge area in West Virginia via Adventures on the Gorge, which is a high priority place on my bucket list. My son went white water rafting there and had nothing but good things to say. I can't wait to go for myself. I may or may not be brave enough for white water rafting, luckily there are many things to do and see in that area.  

Maybe I’ll wander back up to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania for a picnic among the flowers and fountains with stop by at Brandywine Museum and to remind myself of the talent of Andrew Wyeth on the way home.

water sports at Hammerman
Fortunately, if all else fails, I will be able to use that long weekend (provided it doesn’t snow – just kidding!) at one of my favorite Baltimore county parks such as Hammerman or Pretty Boy Reservoir.  Maybe I will be able to get my new Kayak into the water. 

You see, I want to do it all. The fewer days I have, the more I want to do.  Whether it is a week long vacation a good distance from home, a staycation near home, or a quick day trip just around the corner, there are so many great places to see in the mid-Atlantic. These are only a few. 



Image Credit: Images are mine ©Dawn Rae – All Rights Reserved (Click on photo for larger view)







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