Grateful Boomers take on two hikes in one week

Published 10:13 am Saturday, February 17, 2024

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After the challenges they’ve tackled in recent months, the Grateful Boomers from Curdsville decided to try something new. 

“We decided to step up our hiking game with an elevation gain of 1900 feet,” said group member Fran Hill. “Our hike to Bald Knob started at Long Mountain Wayside on route 60 and continued north for a 5 mile out and back. Our objectives for this hike were less time spent in the car and training for a bigger hike later this year.”  

In less than two hours, the group was parked and the climb to the summit began. 

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With that hike accomplished, the group wasn’t satisfied. Instead, three days later, they packed up and went to climb Bluff Mountain. 

“This was another out and back hike covering 4.5 miles and a 1200 foot elevation gain,” Hill said. “The weather was perfect! After a short detour to the Punchbowl shelter, we continued to the summit. Green tunnels were formed along the trail by mountain laurels and rhododendrons and the ridge was bordered by witch hazel just coming into bloom. Cement blocks left over from a fire tower were the perfect seats for soaking in the views to the east and west and having lunch.” 

Grateful Boomers

They also passed a memorial to Ottie Cline Powell at the summit. Who was Ottie Cline Powell? In 1891, when Ottie was almost five, he wandered from the other school children while collecting firewood. Rescue efforts to find him were unsuccessful and his body was found five months later and seven miles from where he was last seen. 

“Many parts of the Appalachian Trail (AT) contain reminders of history and an awareness of the vast wilderness in which you and many others have entered,” Hill said. “Today the AT is maintained by volunteers and well marked with white blazes on trees and rocks.” 

Hill said the group wants to continue to challenge each other. In addition to day hiking, they plan to add some overnight hikes to cover more sections of the AT in Virginia.

Who are the Grateful Boomers

And if you’re wondering who the Grateful Boomers are, they’re a group of friends from Buckingham County, all over the age of 60, who want to enrich their lives through both meaningful friendships and challenging outdoor adventures.

They believe that aging gratefully with a high level of curiosity about everything, will create the best environment to remain mentally and physically active. Collectively, the group’s interests run from biking to hiking, kayaking and photography to reading, knitting, gardening and travel. They hope that by sharing their adventures, the group will inspire others to do the same.

Grateful Boomers