I spent some time near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia a few weekends ago and took the chance to hike a Citibot to the top of Crabtree Falls. Round trip the hike is about 4 miles long with 1,380 feet of elevation and I while I figured there would not be any water to paddle I wanted to test my ability to hike with my Folbot. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine, yellow leaves falling, some wilderness sightings and the laughter of Cub Scouts tricking through the rush of the water. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
In my opinion, any hike of Crabtree Falls must start at the Blue Ridge Pig for a pulled pork sandwich (or ribs or chicken or anything – it’s all great). With the stomach full and happy I was ready to start my hike.
Crabtree Falls is a beautiful hike and a well maintained path. Parking was full but that was to be expected at this time of year. I lucked out with a spot close to the trailhead. While the path does wind back and forth from the water it does offer many great views of falls.
I spent most of the day in the shade under the trees and the weather was just the right blend of a warm day with a cool breeze. The Citibot is light at 24 pounds but with my extras in the backpack I was still thankful to not have to hike in direct sunlight. I was more thankful to have plenty of brilliant yellow leaves to highlight the view. Fall in and around Charlottesville, VA is not to be missed.
There was a comfortable amount of traffic on the trail and plenty of places to view the falls, take some pictures and take a quick rest. I noticed a black snake on the edge of one of the ponds on my way up. It was gone by the time I made it back down and I assumed (hoped) it had gone to the other side of the waterfall.
The backpack served it’s purpose well. The straps helped transfer the weight off my shoulders and onto my hips and held it steady as I climbed over rocks and logs. There was plenty of additional storage room as well. I packed a blanket, fleece vest and a book with room to spare.
I enjoyed about two hours going up and down the falls and tried to snap plenty of pics of the scenery and our gear along the way. There were a number of questions on the path, “What’s in your backpack?”, and it was always fun to see the reaction from other hikers when they realized I had a 10 foot kayak on my back. “Really? Wow!” was the typical response but a few people did want to see me paddle down the falls.
Finally at the top I was rewarded with a beautiful view, hundreds of ladybugs and a fun-loving group of Cub Scouts. This group helped reaffirm that any event is better with plenty of laughter.
A few hours outdoors on a beautiful hike bookended with a lovely drive and the world seemed a little more cheerful. Enough fresh air and I felt like I could have tackled any adventure. The next mountain lake I come across will definitely find my Folbot and me paddling across it.
For those interested, I will add all my pictures to Facebook. If you have taken your Folbot to new heights please share the story and any pictures. I want to know where you have paddled that was only possible because of your Folbot kayak. You don’t have to share the location if it is secret but please share your story. It is stories like those that fuel us and drive everyone at Folbot to make the best kayaks that you can take with you anywhere.
Happy paddling (or hiking),