|The narrow passage entering the Channels|
Today I went on a hike 400 million years in the making! During the last ice age snow melt and water erosion formed the impressive sandstone maze now known as the Great Channels of Virginia. The channels are a new park considering they were purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2008, and the remote location of these have kept them in pristine condition over the years, it's at least a three mile hike in any direction you approach the mountain top boulders.
|the maze known as the Channels from above|
|would you hike with this man?|
Steve and I set a blistering pace, our conversation distracted us from the uphill climb and within a hour we were at the remains of Hayter's Cabin and the fire tower. The lower rung of steps is missing to climb the tower but with some teamwork I hoisted Steve up to the next set of steps but he didn't make it far before the wind turned him back. It was only in the fifties and the wind made it seem much cooler at the top of the mountain. While I was helping Steve down, another hiker approached from the opposite side of the mountain. He was friendly, and acted as surprised as we were to see someone else.
|remains of a cabin at Hayter's Gap|
|fire tower, built in 1939|
|Steve being Steve|
|top of the Channels|
|looking toward Holston Mountain, Mt. Mitchell, NC faint in the distance|
The photos may seem excessive but it's hard to tell a 400 million year old story. The Channels are majestic and I found it difficult to motivate myself to leave, literally everywhere you look there is a beautiful photo op. The high walls of the boulders provided a welcome wind break from the chilly weather. The ability to climb over around, through, and under the boulders brings out the youthful side in even the seasoned hiker. I personally love the channels and will be back numerous times, I believe Steve did as well considering he already asked what I working Sunday so that we could come again. As we left, we found a beautiful roadside waterfall near the town of Lindell which is between Meadowview and Rosedale. Hopefully, you have enjoyed this blog as much as I have in sharing the story with you, until next time...happy trails.