Friday, May 27, 2011

Definitely the Most Beautiful Waterfall Hike East of the Mississippi!

Wow, what a hike! If you like waterfalls, Crabtree falls is the place to go. It's in Nelson County, Virginia not too far from Waynesboro and Charlettesville. The Falls are a 1200 foot vertical drop with five major cascades and a number of smaller ones. Larry and I went off on the outing with my sister Peggy and my brother's wife, Jessica. Neither of them had hiked much before so we suggested they get hiking poles and they were both glad they did even though the path is mostly wide and not too steep. It was still pretty strenuous on the way up with several places where you had to climb steep wooden stairs. But what a worth-it hike! I can't wait to go back again it was so incredibly beautiful. We hit the perfect time for the mountain laurel and rhododendron. What a sight!

Here's the first cascade at the bottom of the falls which is only about 500 feet from the parking lot at the end of a paved trail. This beautiful spot is accessible to anybody.

The trail from that point started sharply uphill but with gradual switchbacks -- not too bad even for non-hikers although I wouldn't want to do it in flipflops like one fella we saw. Here's another beautiful cascade farther along the trail.

The flowers were in spectacular full bloom. And we just had to stop and admire them everywhere we went.

You know what they say about stopping to smell the flowers. We got lots of opportunities!

And here's one of those staircases I was talking about although this wasn't the longest.

There were some great views of the mountains along the trail as well. What a spot -- a little bit of everything.

There were lots of places with little pools. Peggy and I stopped to cool off at one although we were careful to pick one nearer the bottom and not near a cascade. Twenty-three people have died at the falls climbing on the slippery rocks and falling. We had no intention of being one of those statistics.

Couldn't resist this spot for a photo-op, especially since we almost never get pictures of ourselves together since we generally hike by ourselves. It was great to have some extra photographers for the hike!

And here's a video of the top of the falls. We've had such a wet spring there was plenty of water pouring over. Waterfalls are always more fun to see when there's been plenty of rain and we've had (and still are having) more than our share.

Pack up your hiking boots and trecking poles and come join us on the trail. There are so many great places around here to explore. We promise you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Observant are you? Camp Kreitzer's new look.

Did you notice that I changed the picture of Camp Kreitzer? It needed an update since the front looks different. Larry cut the trees way back and I got sick of trimming the shrubs along the front walk and cut them all out. The circle garden is different too because the tree in the middle died at the top. I cut it down but then it grew back at the base so I kept it as a bush. And notice that we put wrought iron railings up for those who need a little help getting up the stairs. Lots of little changes add up to a new look. I also snapped the new photo on a gloomy day which is all we've had lately. Rain, rain, rain with a little intermittant sun now and then. Here's the old photo for comparison taken on a sunny day. I'll probably change the photo again when more flowers are blooming. I love Camp Kreitzer whatever the weather! Ya'all come see us.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Of Easter Eggs and Little Lambs

Two Holy Saturday projects: coloring Easter Eggs and making the traditional lamb cake. First the eggs. Hmm...what color for this one? Pink? We colored the last one pink and the one before that and the one before that. Guess what color is the favorite?

Next comes the traditional lamb cake which I haven't made in a few years and almost forgot about until someone, I think Alice, mentioned it. Ah, yes...I can do that. First get out the lamb pan, the cake mix, the decorator tips and bags and then go to work.

Bake the cake and after it cools do a light frosting coat to reduce crumbs. Oops, no coconut to make the "grass" for the completed cake. No problem...sprinkles are good anywhere, anytime! And the lamb becomes the centrepiece for the Easter table.

And another little lamb dressed in her Easter finery.