Whitetop Laurel CreekYes, it happens from time to time, but not nearly often enough–that my adult self goes off and does something merely for fun and adventure.

Having a good friend visit from NY was enough reason to plan an outing. We could have rafted or canoed the New River. We could have hiked into Grayson Highlands, and this time of year, picked lots of blueberries and eaten them by the handful from those high rocky pinnacles I love so much.

What we ended up doing instead was biking the Virginia Creeper bike trail from Whitetop Station (shuttled there by Sundog Outfitters) back to Damascus.

Since the whole distance is anywhere from a slight to a moderated down hill pitch, we dawdled sufficiently to make the 17 mile distance take us almost four hours.

Much of our dalliance was to enjoy the beauty of Whitetop Laurel creek–either from one of the 24 trestles that crossed it, or with our bare feet in it.

I may have more to say about that trip later next week.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Is it really all downhill? I have some “knee-challenged” people who may be interested – IF it’s all downhill. Thanks.

  2. Glad you had a chance to get out and enjoy yourself, Fred, but it is nice to see you back again. I missed your posts.