Last week (18-25 April, 2011) my wife and I traveled way south of New Hampshire to visit family located in the States of Delaware and North Carolina. In neither location did I have the opportunity to do much in the way of hiking. However, it was a really nice visit. And, at both locations, the Spring Season has definitely "sprung"! Plants are in full bloom, the grass is green, and most folks have already mowed their lawns multiple times.
The Wilmington, DE location that we visited is part of the megalopolis of Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ. In such a populous area, there are very few hiking venues that are densely forested. However, I managed to work in a short stroll in a park-like setting in the suburbs of Wilmington, and here I was able to capture the image of a rainbow while looking across a grassy field.
Our visit to North Carolina is in the three-city area known as the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point). This is also quite a populous area. However, not far from the Triad area, just off the 4-lane highways, there is Hanging Rock State Park. This location has over 18 miles of wooded passageways that lead you to picturesque cascades and waterfalls and rocky ledges.
Since the family members consisted of folks of varying ages and ability, our hike at Hanging Rock State Park was limited to mild-mannered treks to waterfalls and cascades. Shown in the snapshots below are two of the spots we visited.
Hiking to the above destinations was quite pleasant. Along the way, the woods were full of flowering plants such as shown in the photo-collage below.
The woods themselves were a lovely shade of Spring-green, and also had a few flowering trees thrown in here and there. Shown in the first of the two photos below, is a typical woods scene. The second photo also includes a portion of the Spring-green forest, plus an attractive wooden fence that we encountered along one of the trails.
In close proximity to each of the waterfall locations, there was a sign such as shown in the photo below. The "hazards" at these spots are far less than those encountered at waterfall locations in the Whites. My assumption is that there is some sort of liability issue which requires the State of NC to erect these signs.
So, as said earlier, we had an enjoyable visit. Also, it was fun and interesting to travel to NC and DE by car. We could see the Spring Season gradually progress as we drove southward through various States along the way. It was equally fun and interesting to watch the Spring Season progress backwards as we drove northward on our return trip back to New Hampshire. And quite honestly, I was thrilled to see that there were still remnants of snow on north-facing slopes and on the mountaintops. I'm a huge fan of the brief Spring/Summer seasons that we experience in northern New Hampshire! There is no place like home, and the White Mountains of NH are truly one heck of a nice "home"!
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