Grateful Boomers return to Bald Knob

Published 2:00 am Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Sometimes, a place is just so enjoyable that you have to make a return trip. That was the case with the Grateful Boomers recently, as the group  returned to Bald Knob. In terms of proximity to home and physical challenge Bald Knob is worth a revisit. This strenuous hike ascends nearly 2000 feet in less than 3 miles with few breaks in the climb. All the green covering the trees and forest floor makes the trail unrecognizable from the last time the group made the trip, back in January. 

The trail was busy with thru hikers, day hikers, and volunteers from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail (AT) Conservancy. Bald Knob is one section of the more than 90 miles the group maintains on the AT. That day they were touching up blazes and trimming plant growth, including poison ivy, away from the trail. As well as weekday maintenance they meet every weekend for group hikes. 

This trail is like so many others with wildflowers in abundance.  Golden Alexander and Solomon’s plume were throughout the hike whereas hogweed, trillium, yellow hawkweed, and Virginia spiderwort were found only in certain sections. With the help of the Merlin app, 7 birds were identified with Eastern Towhee being the most prevalent.

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The only view from this section of the AT can be enjoyed from a rock to the left of the trail before the summit. Further on the ridge the witch grass cover makes the trail barely visible.

According to research, awe may help give you a sense of humility and connection to life. “Whether viewing from a distance or standing on a summit, mountains evoke awe and wonder and hiking mountains can release mood-boosting endorphins,” said Boomers member Fran Hill. “Because mountain hiking is so popular there are websites and books with detailed descriptions of the hikes. See if you can find the right one for you!”

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.