White Oak Canyon

Sunday dawned clear and crisp. Blue sky as far as the eye could see and a temperature probably best described as balmy. We filled the CamelBaks, grabbed some snacks and drove south for about ninety minutes. Our destination was White Oak Canyon, a very popular hiking trail near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ready to start hiking. I have suggested to the girls that they start an outdoor clothing line entitled "Fashionistas Hike!"
Ready to start hiking. I have suggested to the girls that they start an outdoor clothing line entitled “Fashionistas Hike!”

After a quick chat with the friendly park ranger – dressed just like the ranger from Yogi Bear – we made our way across the bridge and into the cool and quiet of the forest.

Beautiful.
Beautiful.

There are five waterfalls, and numerous cascades and pools along the trail, and our goal was to get the girls to the first set of major falls. It was not a difficult hike and Olive particularly loves being out in the bush. She charges along stopping to admire anything and everything as well as climbing on anything that looks mountable. Edie can find things a bit tougher but we find that if one of us walks right next to her and keeps up a continuous stream of conversation she soon finds she has gone much further than she thought was possible.

With a natural sculpture which they declared looked just like a moose.
With a natural sculpture which they declared looked just like a moose.
Olive the mountaineer.
Olive the mountaineer.
We all ended up doing a wee bit of climbing.
We all ended up doing a wee bit of climbing.

The flow of hikers was steady but the track was by no means crowded. Dogs are allowed so the girls had many opportunities to stop, pat and “oooh” over many four legged hikers.

Lots of opportunities for a bot of fun too - push!
Lots of opportunities for a bit of fun too – push!

Soon we were at the falls – the busiest place on the trail. Groups of people were sunning themselves on the rocks, eating picnic lunches and some brave souls were even sliding down the natural slides formed on the rocks.

No surprise that one of them was Olive!
No surprise that one of them was Olive!
Even Edie thought it was all worth it when she saw this...
Even Edie thought it was all worth it when she saw this…
and it was straight into the water!
and it was straight into the water!
View from the top of Olive's slippy slide...rather her than me!
View from the top of Olive’s slippy slide…rather her than me!
Splash!
Splash!

After a good old splash around, we dragged the girls away and began heading back to the car. Since our visit to the serpentarium in Edisto Island we’ve had a lot of conversations about seeing a snake in the wild and the right way to act, never really believing that we would actually see one. (This is despite the fact that some rather big black snakes were regular visitors to our neighbor’s back yard last summer!) Richard and Edie were walking ahead whilst Olive and I talked about what we should do if we saw a snake – not to panic, just leave it alone and all that – when out of the corner of my eye I saw Richard waving and pointing…you guessed it…

ssssssssssssssssss
ssssssssssssssssss

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect follow up to what we learned at the serpentarium. We all stood quietly, had a bit of a look and then moved on. The snake didn’t move a muscle. The girls were thrilled and secretly so was I. Thus far Richard has had all the wild animal action with his bear cub sighting whilst out mountain biking. I think now we can call it even.  (I still live in fear of a snake dropping out of a tree onto my head – doubt very much whether I could stay calm and composed in that scenario!)

After a snake sighting, the rest of our descent was rather uneventful, except of course for just how beautiful it all was. As we drove away from the trail we encountered a lemonade and cookies stand manned by two little girls. So cute. We had to stop and give them some business.

The perfect pick me up after all that wilderness.
The perfect pick me up after all that wilderness.

We headed north to the small town of Flint Hill and a well deserved early dinner at the Flint Hill public house. It had a great outside area complete with hammocks and games of corn hole to keep the girls amused, whilst Mum and Dad sampled a bit of Virginia wine. The food was good too – a wonderfully relaxed end to our special Sunday.

Corn hole in action.
Corn hole in action.
Tired but happy at the end of a lovely day.
Tired but happy at the end of a lovely day.

Lots more pics from a great day out if you click on the link to my Flickr photos.

Take care everyone – sending all our love xxx

5 Replies to “White Oak Canyon”

  1. Wow Chrissy – “West Virginia, Mountain Momma” as John Denver sang in his country road song and now i can see what inspired him so – what beautiful and fit hikers you all are. Congratulations Olive and Edie for hiking so far and being so adventurous in the mountains! We all miss you and looking forward to seeing you all soon – Tom will definitely want to take your picture of the snazzy looking snake into class for news xxx

  2. Wow what a lot of fun to be had. Lots of new adventures , bet Olive made a big splash…….real brave it looked so steep. You all looked really well and tanned.
    Hope NZ turns on a good warm Christmas for you all. Mum

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