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Hellbender's New River Trail Pix
Old 12-12-2009, 07:31 AM   #1
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Hellbender's New River Trail Pix

One of my favorite activities since retiring is hiking the New River Trail State Park in Southwest Virginia. Thought you might enjoy a photo log of couple day's activities earlier this year.

Day 1:


I began at the Hiwassee trestle. This trail entrance is about 2 miles from my house. Here the trail is a 750’ long abandoned N&W railroad trestle spanning the upper portion of Claytor lake. It still has its superstructure intact.

The entrance to the trestle:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00416_2.jpg


Standing on the trestle looking upstream:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00417_2.jpg


What follows are several views of the trail taken at various points of my 3 mile walk:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00419_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00422_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00425_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00434_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00435_2.jpg


Maidenhair ferns. These are past their peak. In June you can see entire hillsides covered with these attractive ferns.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00420_2.jpg


Stand of Blue flowers. These recently erupted. I still haven’t figured out what they are.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00429_2.jpg

Closeup:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00427_2.jpg


Lone Rock Outcrop. More durable/dense rock left behind as a sentinel after the forces of nature/gravity have eroded surrounding materials.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00430_2.jpg



View of Claytor Lake from Trail:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00432_2.jpg


Day 2:

My wife and I set out early this morning to walk one of our favorite New River Trail sections.. Fortunately, it begins right across the street. I have included a series of photographs for your enjoyment. The dog in some of the photos is my neighbor’s. He frequently joins us on our walks.

This is a photograph of our home taken from the trail:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00439_2.jpg

A half-mile down the trail we encounter the first trail marker. These occur at each mile. P13 means 13 miles from the beginning of the trail near the town of Pulaski, VA. All told the trail covers about 57 miles and ends near Galax, VA, not far from the North Carolina border.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00440_2.jpg

A little further and you come across this metal tower which supports a cable and a trolley car that crosses the river. Years ago in order to estimate the River flow an employee of the United States Geological Service would take the trolley out over the river and obtain depth readings with a line and weight. This is now done with an unmanned automatic gauging station but the towers , cable and trolley remain. The trolley is locked in place.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00442_2.jpg

We next encounter the Big Reed Island Creek railroad trestle. The superstructure has been removed.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00444_2.jpg

The view of the floodplain from the trestle:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00445_2.jpg

Big and Little Reed Island Creeks merge just upstream of the crossing
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00446_2.jpg

and flow into the New River:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00447_2.jpg

Here the trail was blasted through solid rock forming rock walls on each side:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00448_2.jpg

This is a classic image of a antiform which is an upward curving fold in the rock:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00451_2.jpg

and another showing a nearly 90 degree bend evidencing the tremendous forces at work in the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00452_2.jpg

Various views of the trail/river on the return trip:
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00454_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00458_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00459_2.jpg
http://gfhaga.googlepages.com/DSC00462_2.jpg

Enjoy!
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #2
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Nice pics HB...I could almost hear the leaves cracklin' underfoot.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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Excellent pics! My old stomping grounds. I spent enough time tubing in the New to significantly impact my GPA back in college. Also was a great place for field trips (Biology major, Geology minor). A lot of interesting formations along there. We used to catch Hellbenders down near Claytor Dam. That was the first thing I thought about when I saw your name here.

Thanks for the memories.
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Thank You!
Old 12-12-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Nice pics HB...I could almost hear the leaves cracklin' underfoot.
I am glad you enjoyed the pix. It took awhile to pull it all together. I really love walking the same route in the snow. Last year there was a perfect snow event. Big, fluffy snow flakes sticking to the trees. Temperature slightly above freezing and no wind. I could actually detect the sound of the flakes hitting the ground. I had the trail to myself. Perfect.

In what part of TX are you?
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Excellent pics! My old stomping grounds. I spent enough time tubing in the New to significantly impact my GPA back in college. Also was a great place for field trips (Biology major, Geology minor). A lot of interesting formations along there. We used to catch Hellbenders down near Claytor Dam. That was the first thing I thought about when I saw your name here.

Thanks for the memories.
Your welcome. I am currently happy to catch smallmouth bass. Caught a 4-pounder a couple of weeks ago. I presume you were a Virginia Tech student? I spent quite a bit pf time at McCoy falls to tube myself. I used to camp and go caving down there also. To get my engineering degree I ended up taking a course in animal ecology (free elective). Part of the class was going on a field trip to Big Stoney creek to track the movements of crawdads. Loads of fun. As a geology minor I am sure you will appreciate my categorizing one particular rock formation as an antiform as opposed to an anticline, since I have no idea as to the age-order of the sediments. In the same general area as ther pictures I took, I found some fossilized mud ripples. Still looking for plant/animal fossils. Thanks again.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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Great pictures, thanks for sharing your hikes.
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Just noticed . . . .
Old 12-12-2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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Just noticed . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Excellent pics! My old stomping grounds. I spent enough time tubing in the New to significantly impact my GPA back in college. Also was a great place for field trips (Biology major, Geology minor). A lot of interesting formations along there. We used to catch Hellbenders down near Claytor Dam. That was the first thing I thought about when I saw your name here.

Thanks for the memories.
. . . . . that you are located on the MD eastern shore. I spent my working days at a small naval base at Dahlgren, VA (the VA side of the 301 bridge) From time to time my job took me to NASA, Wallops Island. This meant Pocomke, Salisbury, Assateague, Chincateague, etc. (loved the Pony Pines restaurant) and other destinations.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
I am glad you enjoyed the pix. It took awhile to pull it all together. I really love walking the same route in the snow. Last year there was a perfect snow event. Big, fluffy snow flakes sticking to the trees. Temperature slightly above freezing and no wind. I could actually detect the sound of the flakes hitting the ground. I had the trail to myself. Perfect.

In what part of TX are you?
Mmmm...yes. I loved to hike near my home in Ballwin, MO. Four seasons...beautiful trees, pristine snow...I miss it.

I live in a suburb close to Dallas. Every once in a while, a leaf will blow in from another state.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:55 PM   #9
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Every once in a while, a leaf will blow in from another state.
Back in my working days, Iused to live in Louisiana and traveled to TX frequently. Beaumont, Kileen, College Station, Jasper (chili festival, mmmmm) Eastern TX is beautiful.. . . . it has leaves and everything. I spent a lot of time in Fort Worth. I never made it to MO, where the mountains are not high but the valleys sure are deep. Closest I ever came was canoeing on the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
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I did a trail run on that trail in October, basically Fries to Galax and back. Really nice down there.
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My Pleasure.
Old 12-12-2009, 04:11 PM   #11
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My Pleasure.

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Great pictures, thanks for sharing your hikes.
No problem ast all. I've got lots of time (I hope). I am glad you enjoyed the pix.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Excellent pics! My old stomping grounds. I spent enough time tubing in the New to significantly impact my GPA back in college. Also was a great place for field trips (Biology major, Geology minor). A lot of interesting formations along there. We used to catch Hellbenders down near Claytor Dam. That was the first thing I thought about when I saw your name here.
Hmm..when I saw his name the first thing I thought of was...

My daddy was a Gibson
My momma was a Fender
That's why they call me
Mindbender

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
Back in my working days, Iused to live in Louisiana and traveled to TX frequently. Beaumont, Kileen, College Station, Jasper (chili festival, mmmmm) Eastern TX is beautiful.. . . . it has leaves and everything. I spent a lot of time in Fort Worth. I never made it to MO, where the mountains are not high but the valleys sure are deep. Closest I ever came was canoeing on the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas.
I loved canoeing in MO. Then I thought about our float trips on the Huzzah River in Steelville, MO. Oh...we had a great time. It would take us six hours to float just a few miles. We had to take...ummm...breaks.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I did a trail run on that trail in October, basically Fries to Galax and back. Really nice down there.
Was that an oprganized event? Every year they run a triathalon that consists of bicycling from Foster's Falls to Fries and back, followed by canoeing to the Allisonia boat ramp (where I live) followed by a run back to Foster Falls. I like WATCHING the participants.

This is a return to my roots. My mother was from Hillsville (next to Galax) and my father was from Max Meadows (in Wythe county). From my curtrent abode, I can see the boarding house where my grandparents lived while my grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse back in the fifties. I have actually met some of her students.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
I presume you were a Virginia Tech student?
It was Radford actually. Just after it went coed from being all women. Much more fun.

Quote:
As a geology minor I am sure you will appreciate my categorizing one particular rock formation as an antiform as opposed to an anticline, since I have no idea as to the age-order of the sediments. In the same general area as ther pictures I took, I found some fossilized mud ripples. Still looking for plant/animal fossils. Thanks again.
You're assuming I can remember anything from last week, much less 30+ years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
. . . . . that you are located on the MD eastern shore. I spent my working days at a small naval base at Dahlgren, VA (the VA side of the 301 bridge) From time to time my job took me to NASA, Wallops Island. This meant Pocomke, Salisbury, Assateague, Chincateague, etc. (loved the Pony Pines restaurant) and other destinations.
I spent a summer working on an Oceanographic grant (intern) at Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium. Loved the area. It influenced my decision to retire out here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Hmm..when I saw his name the first thing I thought of was...

My daddy was a Gibson
My momma was Fender
That's why they call me
Mindbender
Glad to see somebody's memory still works. I had forgotten about that one.

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OK
Old 12-12-2009, 04:42 PM   #15
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OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Hmm..when I saw his name the first thing I thought of was...

My daddy was a Gibson
My momma was Fender
That's why they call me
Mindbender


I loved canoeing in MO. Then I thought about our float trips on the Huzzah River in Steelville, MO. Oh...we had a great time. It would take us six hours to float just a few miles. We had to take...ummm...breaks.
The poem is interesting. I am not sure I understand. I think I would have enjoyed those breaks though!


Just saw Harley's post. Got it!!
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
Was that an oprganized event? Every year they run a triathalon that consists of bicycling from Foster's Falls to Fries and back, followed by canoeing to the Allisonia boat ramp (where I live) followed by a run back to Foster Falls. I like WATCHING the participants.

This is a return to my roots. My mother was from Hillsville (next to Galax) and my father was from Max Meadows (in Wythe county). From my curtrent abode, I can see the boarding house where my grandparents lived while my ggramnsmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse back in the fifties. I have actually met some of her students.
Yes, it was the 2nd year of the New River Trail 50K.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:19 PM   #17
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To RunningBum

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Yes, it was the 2nd year of the New River Trail 50K.
Cool. Next time stop by. I am at approx milepost 12.5.
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