Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brew-Hiking the Shenandoah Valley - Two days in Roanoke (part 1 - planning)

Hey reader, 

Later today I'll be doing an urban sunset hike to watch the lights come up over Roanoke (hoping my friend Laura and her daughter come along to join in the fun); then tomorrow I'll be doing one of the most iconic hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Oh, and of course there will be a brewery visit in between!

A buddy of mine, trail name The Oelander, will be along for the ride. Being a college student can be hard - or at least that's what we all think at the time, right? - so he's getting a get-out-of-jail card for the next two days while I'm off on my regularly scheduled midweek "weekend". Luckily I'm off work for the next 48 hours, and I plan to squeeze the marrow out of every moment.

This afternoon we'll be heading down the highway to a place known as the Star City of the South, Roanoke, Virginia. After dropping the dogs off at the motel, we'll head out to fill a growler at a local brewery - probably Parkway Brewing Company or Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers. We plan to enjoy a toast as the lights come up in the valley and the big neon Roanoke Star flickers on at the top of Mill Mountain. 

To brew-hiking! 

Also, we'll swing by Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing to pick up some ingredients for our next batch (still waiting on the Belgian Tripel to fully ferment; could a coffee porter be in our future?).

Post-hike we'll be heading to a local establishment famous for its great food and hearty brews - there are several places we're considering actually, so I look forward to reporting back on where we ultimately decide to tuck in and splash back an ale or two.

In the morning, we'll wake when we're able and head out to the trailhead en route to McAfee's Knob. This iconic knob is located about 3.5 miles in, and its views are pretty damn spectacular from what it looks like on the multitude of shots I see daily on Instagram. It's one of those bucket-list hikes, surely among the top of the top photographed spots along the A.T.

Well, it's time to pack up and head out fairly soon, so I'll log off and leave part 2 until I get to it later this week. Thanks for reading. Ciao for now.