Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Travels - Hiking Marys Rock

I never consider a summer outing to be a true adventure unless we get hot, sweaty, dirty and tired. For me, tackling a challenging hike or a long bike ride brings a feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration. Not so for my family.  So when the weather forecast called for cooler days with less humidity, I seized the chance to convince my tribe to take a hike in Shenandoah National Park.

I come by my adventure trip plans in a variety of ways. I was in our local Panera Bakery recently, grabbing a bagel to go, and I happened to be wearing my bright orange Shenandoah National Park t-shirt with the slogan, "Take a hike." A woman with a friendly smile and a kind manner approached, and said, "So you like the hikes on Skyline Drive?" She introduced herself and suggested I try the Marys Rock hike. "It's steep at first, but worth the effort." She went on to tell me about a children's book she and a photographer friend, Terry Crider, created, Big Meadows: A Place in Shenandoah National Park.  Thanks to Karen Higgs, local teacher and author, for this outstanding addition to our summer travels.

forest hues - mushroom

black swallowtail butterfly

teenage boy hiking

yellow butterfly

The hike over the Pinnacle to Marys Rock traverses one of the most spectacular sections of the Appalachian Trail through the Park. The panorama from the huge outcrop ranges far and wide. To the north there are views of the Blue Ridge peaks. To the west, the town of Luray and the Shenandoah Valley are visible. The trail guide rates the difficulty with 2 stars, but we'd give it 3 or 4. The rocks at the top were jagged and uneven, and as our teenage son ventured to the very peak, we looked on with that mixture of fear and admiration that every parent experiences.

teenage tones

As I slid through the narrow gap among the rocks to get a better view, my son attempted to follow.  But his teenage frame was just a bit too large.  He jokingly called out, “Hey, Mom, I’m stuck between a rock and . . .”  Then we both chimed in with the only possible completion to his sentence, “ . . . a hard place.”  Corny? Yes.  Funny? You bet.

between a rock and a hard place 
Just as hiking to a view is always more rewarding than driving to a view, teaching a child to confront struggles is always more rewarding than preventing them. In both cases, the work is worth the effort.

view from Marys Rock
I’m linking up with Kim Klassen today, and my Friday Find is Marys Rock where outstanding views await.

Mountain Hues


  1. Beautiful spot for hiking! Love your pictures. Wish you didn't have the word verification. It's such a pain in the neck to comment. I have mine turned off and the comment moderation turned on. That way if I do get spam (which I almost never do) I can mark the comment as spam before it's published. it's so darn hard to read those letters!

    1. Hi Kara, Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your advice on the word verification. I didn't even know I had the option to turn this off! Took care of it right away - so glad as I think this is a pain, too!

  2. Such great photos! I love your color boards.

  3. Gorgeous post. Such butterflies I have never seen.
    What a day you had together. I agree, it is lovely to see youngsters take to hiking and climbing.


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