Peaks of otter (poo)

Hiked to the top of flat top mountain before heading home. We had not eaten bfast, but just started hiking and never stopped. It was a beautiful trail with big squeaky poplar trees.

I’m so luck to spend father’s day with my bff on the parkway. I needed that. Til next time.

Best father’s day hike.

Rocky knob to peaks of otter

This section of the blue ridge parkway is quite beautiful. You either have rolling hills in Virginia or you ride the ridgeline with mountains and valleys on either side. There is a road closure around Roanoke for 30 minutes, but we wanted to run into town anyway so it wasn’t a big deal.

We asked the ranger for a recommendation at peaks of otter and wow, was this a fabulous hike. Sharp top mountain (which we  promptly started calling shart stop mountain). We added on buzzard Rock which was well worth the extra 600 feet.

Stone work at shart stop.

Parkway passing time

Our first weekend as empty nesters, so we headed up on the parkway for a long weekend. First night we stopped at Crabtree falls, (formerly known as Crabtree Meadows). The only other time we attempted to stay there, a lightning storm scared us of. Last night we had smooth weather and took a nice morning hike to the falls.

We also stopped by the blue ridge music center. They have daily music 12 to 4 every day but we missed the Friday open music jam. I always forget it’s up there.

Heading out, we encountered a downed tree across the road. After taking this picture, I went to help. 10 of us tried to move this locust with no luck and I wish I had that picture.  A biker left and circled back with his truck and chainsaw and cut it out of the road before our detour put us right back where we started.

Veronica rides again

Furter (the t@g/teardrop) has left the Austin’s for a new home. Meaning we get to keep the bus / Veronica. After her shipment home from Spokane, George has taken her to the fixit shop for a tune up and upgraded her with a lithium battery and a new fridge.

Currently he’s taking the long way to Maryland and tormenting me with pictures of his travels. Like these beauties

Teardrops last hurrah

The teardrop /t@g/furter has made it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in one season. That’s pretty amazing. For those following along (get it?), after many wishy washy purchases, the teardrop sold before Veronica and we are in our final trip in the T@g-A-Long.

It arrived in James Island campground Friday with Helena our exchange student. She has officially seen then Atlantic at sunset. We also apparently have been withholding restaurants. This was our first restaurant dining and she’s been here 6 weeks. (I’m not sure whether to be proud of that or embarrassed…) .

George has never had the opportunity to run the Cooper River bridge run before since its usually in early April, but thanks to covid we had the most normal race morning (delayed 6 months). We got up at 5, caught the masked shuttle with 25k other fully vaccinated people and ran a 6k across an awesome bridge.

We spent about 4 hours at the beach and watched a random wedding (random to us. It was special to the bride & groom). Then we broke out the #CampgroundChef who magically prepared flounder and scallops.

A little fairy dust… until about 30 minutes ago tn was beating fl in Gainesville. That’s changed since I wrote this, but I’m tired and may not be fully invested.

Glorious Finale to a wonderful t@g. We will miss you furter.

Yeah, and that.

Last day in AK

Well, we have made our way back to Anchorage and are waiting to board the plane to Chicago. Our day started with moose!

Then we went down to the Homer spit to get one final fish and chips for the family.

On the way out, we headed to the Kenai Wildlife Refuge / Russian River valley and took a final walk about and watched a fisher man pull in two salmon.

It’s always sad to end a trip, but it’s been lovely. If I had to stay for a few more weeks, I wouldn’t complain, but I miss my pets and my bed. I am glad to have this time to spend with my family.

Tonight we pick up our exchange student (Helena). Busy week!

Homer Grewingk Glacier

Another amazing day. Went to the Homer spit. The spit, probably some glacier moraine, now just beach, shops, and the marina.

Homer Spit Rock finding
Rock treasure on Homer Spit

On the way, we stopped at a farmer’s market and got salmon and kale for dinner. This is the view from the spit. Across the bay is kachemak state park.

The Homer boat taxis to kachemak bay state park were really busy. It took us about an hour of phone tag, but we got a ride at 2 pm to the park.

Kechemak Bay proper

First stop Grewingk glacier. I’m still sore from yesterday so we took it nice and slow.

Grewingk glacier
Icebergs!
Skipping rocks.
Austin gals
Tides came in fast while we were at the glacier. There was a little dog that got stuck on the other side of the point. The taxi had to rescue him.

Boat ride home

Harding Ice field

3500 feet up, nearly 7 hours, and 9 miles of amazing hiking. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

We saw two marmots at top of the cliffs
My mountain spirit animal posing for me. It’s just a mountain groundhog.
Exit glacier at top of the cliffs.
Top of the cliffs
Exit glacier at top of the cliffs. 2500 ~feet

The whole hike took 4 hours to get up to the top. Started the hike at 8 am. The last bit was hard but it was packed with wildflowers, mountains, snow, glaciers and ice fields. I forgot how hard I was working because of the sheer beauty of the scenery.

Austin girls
Red algae on snow
Mountain side of the Harding ice field
Lots of snowy ice fortis
Family at the Harding ice field
Yes, how cool is that?

Tiny People on the glacier