Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dad and I have become really good hiking partners. Earlier in the year, he hiked four miles through the hills of Giles County to the Cascades of Virginia with me, it was one of my fondest memories. I remember a time when our family wondered if he would ever be the same after falling almost 30 feet off a telephone pole and breaking his back. The injury resulted in his retirement but opened the door for us to finally get to spend some time together. As time went on, Dad started doing better and feeling better, he worked on maintaining a healthier weight and had some nagging knee issues addressed and a hiker was born. I have been all over our region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and have seen some beautiful sights. Some of the hikes take every ounce of my energy and some are a little more tame, those are my "dad hikes"
Dad looking excited to head up.
awesome mix of fall color climbing the tower.

The Birch Knob Tower in Clintwood, Virginia is a crazy long drive for a wonderful short hike. I'm not sure who secured the funding to construct the tower, but I wish I could give them a hug. The structure is built around the boulders atop Pine Mountain and winds up and around the massive rocks eventually reaching a large observation deck with bench seating to take in the views. Dad had mentioned riding up there on several occasions but now that Fall is in full swing and the leaves are peaked we picked last Thursday to hit the mountains. The ride over to Clintwood is a pretty one crossing Powell Mountain and winding through the small mountain town of Pound, Virginia. Our conversation made the time go by and before we knew it we were heading up the first of 187 steps that take you to the top of Birch Knob Tower.
awesome picture of dad.
from the observation deck

It was a perfect day for photos with clouds rolling through mixed with patches of blue sky. The wind was gusting pretty bad at the top but I let dad borrow my sweatshirt to keep him up there with me. I hope these pictures tell the story better than I have, I'm having some serious writer's block and Sunday Night Football is on. Til next time...happy trails.
wind turning the leaves
Airplane Rock

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