Posts filed under ‘Bald Knob’

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

When we were at Bald Knob, Tony and I ran across yet another tree that demonstrates great determination. It fell down, but it wasn’t deterred. It sprouted new roots and shot up three new “trunks” towards the sky.

A tree’s second try

Up at the top of Bald Knob, Tony and I also found value in trying again. It took us a few attempts to get a shot of us at one of the overlooks.

The first time my foot accidently hit the camera as I rushed in frame. Tony and I quickly tried to correct our poses:

Take 1 – Leaning into the shot

We had some issues with lighting and focus and then one shot, the dogs were in the way.

Take 4 – Trying to get the dogs out of the shot.

Then finally, we got a workable shot:

Take 5 – Jimmie, Vicky, Tony, Henry

November 18, 2008 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Season Compare: Bald Knob

I have a couple of season compares from Bald Knob. First, this weathered rock always catches my eye:

April 10, 2004- You can see Mountain Lake in the upper right

July 8, 2006

November 1, 2008 – Dry Mountain Lake is in the upper right

And here is a Jimmie Compare– Jimmie a little more than 4 years apart:

Jimmie at Bald Knob on April 10, 2004 – Mountain Lake is behind him

Jimmie at Bald Knob on November 1, 2008 – Dry Mountain Lake is behind him

November 13, 2008 at 8:30 am 2 comments

A Dog Friendly Approach to Bald Knob

Saturday, November 1st, Tony Airaghi and I went up to Bald Knob for a quick outing. The property at the Mountain Lake resort is not dog friendly, which poses a problem because the Bald Knob Trail starts right behind that fancy schmacy mansion. Luckily, there is a fireroad you can take up to Bald Knob that does allow pets. Just park at the parking lot right after the intersection of Mountain Lake Rd. and Doe Creek Road. Right across the street is a gravel road, aptly named “Bald Knob Road.” You follow that road up and booyah! Bald Knob View!

(And it is a lot easier than the trail all those pet-less suckers have to take!)

And what can you see from Bald Knob? Lots- wonderful ridgelines, great rock outcroppings, a historic golf clubhouse, Butt Mountain, Pearis Mountain and Mountain Lake (or dry Mountain Lake).

View from Bald Knob (Butt Mountain is in this shot!)

View from Bald Knob (Dry Mountain Lake is in this shot!)

Peeling Bark at the top of Bald Knob

Bunch of red berries at Bald Knob

I thought this leaf looked like a little swimming turtle

More pictures of our trip to Bald Knob can be found on my Flickr site.

Bald Knob (with Dogs)

Length: Approximately 0.5 miles one way

Elevation Gain: 479 feet

Directions from Blacksburg, VA

Take 460 West

Turn right on VA-700

Right before the Mountain Lake Resort, you will pass Doe Creek Road on your left. You will want to park and hike up the gravel road right across the street.

November 13, 2008 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Something the Thru-Hikers Miss

Each year over a thousand hikers embark on hiking the whole Appalachian Trail. I think there is roughly a 20-25% completion rate. These hikers, even the ones who don’t manage to finish, gather up memories of the trail that I, as a mere day-hiker, can only imagine. I certainly enjoy my showers and hot meals, but I do envy the unique experiences those hikers must have. Parting with all the daily obligations of their lives, all the views they see as they travel through fourteen states, the comradery they have with other hikers and finally, the fulfillment they must feel 2000 miles later when they have completed their challenge.

Yesterday, Bill and I made a trip down to the Butt Mountain Overlook. It was a quick trip– We headed that way, admired the view, took some pictures, watch Jimmie take three dumps and two hours later we were back home. Last night when I was looking at one of my pictures of the view, I recalled I had a similiar shot from a July trip with Mike E. It was neat to flip back and forth and look at the difference.

Then I was reminded… The thru-hikers who pass through this area each year certainly have a wealth of experiences that I do not have, but there is one thing I have one thing that they don’t. I get to see this area year-round. I get to see the same spots through different seasons and different weather conditions. I get to see the blooming rhododendrons in June and I get to see them all curled up in the winter, adding a green contrast to the white snow. I know that Angel’s Rest is best in the fall, the Cascades are the prettiest in the winter* and Wind Rocks is so very haunting in the fog. In the early spring and winter I get to see extra views before the leaves are on the trees that you would never notice in the warmer months (for example you can see only Mountain Lake from Bald Knob when there are no leaves) when the thru hikers are passing through. And then when the leaves are there in the summer, I get to marvel at the beauty of all the green along with all the other hikers.

I’d say the score is still about 1279 to 2 (I’m also counting “Sitting in Larry’s Hot Tub Afterwards” as a point for me). But for what it is worth, here are some samples from my hiking photos of similiar shots in different seasons (Note: Not all are Appalachian Trail hikes). Enjoy!

Butt Mountain



Bald Knob

Spring – You can see Mountain Lake in the upper right

Summer – No Lake Visible

Falls Ridge


Late Fall

McAfee’s Knob




Strong Winter

Mild Winter


Carvin’s Cove



Pearis Mountain (Past Angel’s Rest)

Spring (this was my 30th birthday hike!)


*The Thru-Hikers would certainly struggle to know Cascades is prettiest in winter seeing as how it isn’t on the AT.

January 29, 2007 at 1:26 am 13 comments

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