The Appalachians

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Virginia's Blue Ridge

The wife and I first visited the mountains west of the DC area only in October 2008, and we loved it. Ever since, we've been going back quite often, with trips to Shenandoah National Park being the most preferred destination. Indeed, I love this park so very much that I've had a season pass since 2009! The more than 100 miles of Skyline Drive has provided plentiful chances for photographs and access to many trailheads.

Since these early days we've done a lot of hiking in and out of Shenandoah NP. I continue to feel very lucky that a place of such varied and glorious terrain is only two hours from home.



The Southern Appalachians

At the end of October 2009, I took the family on a long trip South to the borderlands of North Carolina and Tennessee. We stayed in Asheville, and in our short time there got to see a fair bit of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains.

These Southern mountains dwarf the Northern portion of the range in both height and breadth. With peaks rising over 6,600 feet, I won't soon be forgetting the mountains of the South. And I sure hope that Aidan won't be either...



The Adirondacks

Leaving our son at home, we took a trip into the mountains of Northern New York for snowboarding and general Winter pleasure. The area proved to be a spectacular region of contrasts - jagged mountains and flat, frozen lakes; rushing waters and solemn snow-cloaked evergreens. The Adirondack park is simply majestic. And I'm always going to think about this trip every time I look at a map with that huge green section in upstate New York.

Technically, the Adirondacks aren't part of the Appalachians in a geological sense. However, these mountains are often classed with them due to proximity.

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Pennsylvania

This is where the wife and I grew up, but for me, I had hardly begun to appreciate the area's natural beauty until I'd moved away.

I hope that the more I go back home with a camera, the more I'll be able to document and share.

The rolling, low forested mountains of my home state have led me to a fair share of hiking, which I highly recommend.



West Virginia

I haven't done much exploring in WV, but the scenery at Snowshoe and Harper's Ferry is quite impressive. We plan on visiting both again in the future, not to mention the rest of this state. Just passing through the George Washington National Forest on the way to Snowshoe got the hiking urge going.



Maryland

We've done some great hiking in the Catoctin Mountains in North-central Maryland, near Thurmont. There's a lot more to see, but this was a wonderful place to start.

It was a good thing I had finally taken the chance to go hiking here. I had passed through Maryland so many times, traveling between PA and DC. I knew the mountains were impressive, but I never got out there. I suppose the location between Shippensburg and DC made it a good motivator, since my PA friends and I could meet in the middle.

Travelling ever further Westward into the Alleghenies has also been interesting as of late, though I think I've only scratched the surface.



Maine

Ickes and I journeyed up to Maine and the Sunday River Ski resort back in 2005 for Spring Break. Without a doubt, this has been my best snowboarding experience. It may only be the old Appalachian Mountains, but they've got a lot to offer.

Ickes has been here in the summer, and said it was beautiful. I think a trip in the non-snow-covered portion of the year is indeed in order.