We were driving back from a good friend’s wedding in Winchester, just about to travel over Afton mountain when I casually mentioned that “No, I’ve never been on the Skyline Drive”. Honestly I kind of thought that Interstate 64 was Skyline Drive… not the whole part, just the part over Afton Mountain…
And that was the spark that led us to Blueridge Parkway instead and off on our way to see another site I’d never been to Humpback Rock. Sterling said “Oh yeah, it’s only about a 10 minute hike up!” Well I had my tennies (tennis shoes) in the back of the car so I said “Sure why not!”
We got to Humback Rock and first had to stop in the gift shop. You see, I’ve started a new tradition! Just last year when I was on Spring Break in Kiawah, we were in a market and Leslie was picking out her traditional souvenir. Some people collect magnets or post cards for everywhere they go and I thought, I want something from everywhere I go! But what? And then I found it! This woman in the market was selling the most beautiful glass mosaic ornaments! Ornaments! It was perfect, beautiful, not something I have to have out all the time or something that takes up a lot of space that I will run out of, or something that will sit away in a box forever but a small trinket that I get to take out once a year in my most favorite season so I can cherish and remember the adventure! And so started my Travel Tree Ornaments! I picture one day I’ll have too many to put on the regular tree mixed in with my future children’s hand made macaroni ornaments and so I’ll have my own little (or big depending on how many places we go) travel tree! A special tree with all the ornaments, each telling a little story of places and memories. I can look at my kids and say this one time I went to Humback Rock and hiked what I thought was a 10 minute hike but ended up being nearly an hour each way 🙂
So flash forward, we got the ornament and and our own our way up. It was tough, and definitely made me realize how out of shape I am. But, it was worth it. When you get to the top and see just how amazing nature is. I mean honestly, these perfectly stretched out rocks, barren from the surrounding trees and reaching out to the sky just right so that the rest of Earth’s creatures can share it, enjoy it, and reflect on it, it was amazing.
Now I am desperately afraid of heights so I stayed far away from the edge and couldn’t get myself to go to the two highest peaks of the three but, I did inch my way out near one edge to take a picture, although my face may show my slight discomfort with the whipping winds and plunging heights…
All in all, it was a great day, from celebrating the marriage of two friends to seeing some beautiful landscapes and collecting a treasure I can love forever.
Glass blown and hand painted from the inside!
Huge fields of wildflowers? Yes please!
These two were married on top of Humback Rock and come up here frequently just to celebrate each other!
He’s a really good sport.
It seems so much larger in real life… pictures just couldn’t do it justice.