Last weekend Peyton and I got to experience Virginia's finest as we spent the first part of the weekend at the Rivah, aka Deltaville, and the subsequent portion of the long weekend hiking and exploring one of Virignia's famous National Forrests. The July 4th weekend started in Deltaville where rendezvoused with Peyton's parents, aunt and uncle, and the newly wedded Addison and Heather Thompson. The evening was spent on a peaceful sunset cruise up the river on Tad's 37' sail boat. The cruise was as relaxing as it gets, with a cool breeze to stale off the warm July air. In the morning we awoke to the news of storm predictions for the mountains- our afternoon hiking destination. We packed up and hit the road in hopes of getting in a short hike at least before the strong storms arrived in Nelson County. The plan was to hike up the Priest and then continue on the Appalachian Trail Southward bound to the Crabtree trail intersection where we would descend the 3.5 miles of switchbacks to the trailhead parking lot where our bikes would then take us the final 4.5 miles to our car at the Priest trailhead. We went ahead and dropped off the bikes and got started on our hike up the priest. The rain held off and we had an awesome time on the trail and then crusing back down the mountain to our car at the trailhead.
We then spent the night at an awesome mountain inn on Rt. 56 between Vesuvius and Montebello called the Sugar Tree Inn. We enjoyed an evening dip in the hot tub and an amazing country breakfast in the morning overlooking the beauful Blue Ridge Mountains.
After breakfast we packed up and headed west on 56 a few more miles to St. Mary's Wilderness, one of my favorite hikes in the state. The hike in to the swimming hole was only a couple of miles, but just enough to crave a dip in the mountain stream.
After hiking out, we hit up Gertie's, some of the finest country cooking sold from a modest roadside country store. Once back in Richmond, we were hoping to catch up with family for fireworks at Dogwood Dell, but the sky had it's own show for us to behold this year. This storm not only brought a lightening show, but just enough rain to make Reedy Creek runnable. I called up a few friends and we all were thinking the same thing, so we quickly threw boats on the car and met at Crossroads. After creeking one of the state's premier inner city steep creeks(sounds legit, right?), we caught the final stretch of Rickey and Sarah's American Weekend for a home grown fireworks display and enough corn cobs, tiki tourches, and red, white, and blue to make almost any American proud.