Sometimes a last minute decision can be the best – like when Bill says, “Let’s stop in Pearisburg on the drive home from your mom’s house and run on the Appalachian Trail up to Angel’s Rest.  So before we had a chance to reevaluate our decision to add three hours to our already long drive home, I quickly changed from jeans to my running capris!


Bill and our son Joseph had hiked to Angel’s Rest several years ago when Joseph was a student at Virginia Tech, but I hadn’t made that hike since Bill and I were students at Tech.  I didn’t remember much about the hike except for this picture of a very young Bill and Deb sitting on the iconic rock at the summit.


I’d forgotten just how steep climbing 1,700 feet in two miles really is…..


How many rocks had to be navigated…..


And how many more leaves were on the trail as we approached the summit; and how slippery, even when dry, they were.


After hiking far more than running, we reached the summit and headed toward the prize – the big rock with the view.


And the view was totally worth it!  We marveled at the beauty of the New River flowing through Pearisburg (Giles County, VA), and how lucky we were to have stopped on such a beautiful day.


After snapping a few pictures and staying at the first overlook for a while, we ran out the ridge in search of the other overlook.



Cannon on Tripod


GoPro Selfie

After passing a couple of vine-covered rocks jutting out into the air, we thought that perhaps the rock we’d sat on 36 years earlier was now overgrown.  In hindsight, we realize that we turned around about a tenth of a mile too soon…..

The trip down the mountain was much easier and faster than the ascent.  Rocks, hidden roots, and a new respect for the possibility of twisting my foot after my fall in October, kept me cautious and from running as fast as I would have liked.


We finished our round-trip run right at five miles.  We were tired, invigorated, and ready to hit the road for the rest of our drive home – both of us happy that we’d made the last minute decision to run up to Angel’s Rest.


  • Questions:
  • Have you been to Angel’s Rest?
  • Have you run or hiked on the Appalachian Trail?
  • How does the spring growth where you live compare to the mountain?