Last week we held a memorial to honor the late Olen Sharron and Warren Mays. Olen and Warren were both big advocates in helping treat our hemlocks at Mt. Lake. We received many donations in their honor and decided to create a memorial. Back in July, we picked out a sandstone boulder from the lakebed that was smooth from years of water erosion. Ralph Johnson from McCoy's Funeral Home in Blacksburg came to pick the stone up and took it to his engraving shop. As you can see, he is an amazing artist! We placed the stone at the north end of the lake along the Indian Trail where the hemlock grove is vibrant and healthy, thanks to Olen and Warren's dedication to protecting the hemlocks.
The Sharron and May's family and friends came up for the memorial. Becky Sharron stands proudly next to the stone.
The lake levels have dropped slightly this October but during the entire 2009 season, the levels stayed somewhat constant. Below is a comparison between October 2008 and 2009. What a difference!
I found this praying mantis earlier this week and thought I would share this photo with you..what an interesting creature!
Mantises are masters of camouflage and most species make use of protective coloration to blend in with the foliage, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims. Various species have adapted to not only blend with the foliage, but to mimic it, appearing as either living or withered leaves, sticks, tree bark, blades of grass, flowers, or even stones.
14 participants showed up for our "Day Hikes Along the Appalachian Trail" Elderhostel program earlier this week. We hiked McAfee's Knob and the Wind Rock-War Spur Loop. Below are a couple photos from the program. Enjoy!
McAfee's Knob in the fog
War Spur Overlook
War Spur Connector Trail
Wind Rock Overlook
To see more photos from the program, check out our FACEBOOK page!
We just finished up last week with our 'New River Outdoor Adventure' Elderhostel. We had a total of 24 participants all the way from Washington state to New York. We spent the week on the New River learning the basics of canoeing, rafting, rapid swimming, falling out of boats and much more. Monday and Tuesday were spent on the New from Eggleston to Bluff City. On Wednesday we hiked to the lakebed, Old Golf Course and Bald Knob. The most exciting part of the trip was to the New River Gorge on Thursday, despite the tailpipe falling off the bus! Below are a few pictures from the week.
Eggleston Cliffs Don swimming the rapids at lunch
Steve teaching basic paddling strokes
Kayaking and canoeing below Eggleston
Our venture to the lakebed
Old Golf Course overlook
Prepared for rafting!
Jeff & Meryl
Jess relaxing in the water
Getting their game faces on for the class 5 rapids
New River Bridge
To see more pictures, check out our Facebook page!
We hosted our 1st 5 night 'Day Hikes Along the Appalachian Trail' Elderhostel last week. We had a total of 24 participants from all over the country! Below are a few photos from the program.
On our first hike, Susan's sole came right off her shoe! We were about 3 miles away from the hotel at the Bear Cliffs overlook. A little first aid gauze, tape, and zip ties and we fixed her shoe right up until she could purchase another pair.
Faye dipping her feet into Dismal Falls.
Bruce & Jan posing for a picture.
It decided to pour rain on our War Spur hike. This group was ultra-prepared, rain or shine.
Last week we held our Stories, Songs and Walks Appalachian Elderhostel. We had a total of 23 participants and learned about Appalachian poetry, oral history, ballads, music and the flora and fauna of the Appalachian Mountains. One evening, we ventured out to Wind Rock to watch the sunset. Below are a few pictures from the program.
Hiking along Old Turnpike trail
Hazel Beeler describing the differences between rhododendron and mountain laurel
Rick Mullins viewing the sunset
Group shot at Wind Rock
Our next Elderhostel is 'Day Hikes Along the Appalachian Trail' on July 26-31. We are offering a shorter version of this same program on October 4-7 - visit Elderhostel.org and type in program #16937.