Lucy Thornburgh, who has led the hiking Newcomers for so many years, had sold her house in preparation for moving to be closer to her children. We will miss Lucy's commitment and guidance, but know she is excited about this new phase of life.
Our final hike together was on a bitterly cold January day, so I know Lucy was looking forward to a home in warmer climes rather than feeling particularly nostalgic.
When there is snow on the ground, the Parkway is closed. It makes a nice place to hike, especially on days when the road isn't actually covered with snow.
If it is snow-covered, it probably makes a nice place to cross-country ski, but that is less common.
Walking along the Parkway allows more time to admire the views west – although for much of this particular section the road goes through forest.
The Appalachian Mountains in the background may not be the Blue Ridge, but they were plenty blue on this day.
At the farthest point of our hike we stopped to allow everyone to catch up. Even though we were getting plenty of exercise and were all bundled up, it was still very cooooold.
Our turnaround point was at Indian Gap. There was a short loop trail to see the Indian Rocks, but only a couple of us took that option. Once we got there we realized why no one else joined us – there were no scenic views – just rocks. We have plenty of other rocks in Rockbridge County!
Even the trees look cold all covered with lichen.
I was constantly having run-ins with my 3rd grade teacher over the colors of things. Coloring (within the lines, please), was still a feature of class, and I never chose the colors my teacher thought appropriate. Among other things she insisted that proper tree trunks were brown and I maintained they were grey.
Check it out, Mrs. Boggs!
For a going-away present one of our group found a clever print of a hiking boot at a local gallery. It is constructed of all kinds of outdoorsy elements such as a backpack, a river raft, jacknife, etc. We all added our names.
We'll miss you Lucy!