Last Sunday, in Damascus, Virginia, we were driven to the top of a mountain (going from an elevation of 1900 ft. to 3600 ft.) and left there with only a bike, a water bottle, a map, and vague instructions to follow the trail. There was no cell service.
While this may sound like the latest installment of Survivor, we were actually there to bike the Virginia Creeper Trail. Originally a Native American footpath, and later a railway line, today the trail is part of the Rails to Trails program in which old railway lines are converted to National Recreation biking and hiking trails. The name, Virginia Creeper, refers to the early steam locomotives that struggled slowly up the steep grades, as well as the vine that is prolific in that area.
It was a beautiful 17-mile bike ride as it meandered alongside a stream, through dense woods, along farm fields, and over countless trestle bridges. It took us several hours to get back down to Damascus, only because we stopped often to take photos, climb rocks, walk up to lookout points, and explore.
Being abandoned on top of a mountain was ever so fun.
Of course, since the boys were raised on Scooby-Doo,
we kept looking for that Creeper ...