The weather was too pleasant and the fall foliage was still too vibrant to miss out on the chance at taking a good hike to Bears Den, along the Appalachian Trail this final afternoon in October. There were a lot of people on the trail and on the rocks today, contrary to what the photos might portray, which made it a challenge to concentrate on working on a sketch. Still, I was happy to see so many people outside and enjoying nature in all of its splendor. I noticed I was able to eventually tune out all the chatter from the folks around me (including an overly excited group of college students), and I felt more confident than I ever had, drawing in public. Heck, I even got a few nice compliments. Most of all, it was good to have gotten some drawing, as well as hiking in again. It's been what seems like forever, since I visited this wonderful place that I've grown to know and love over the years, while living out in Northern Virginia for the past decade-and-a-half. It has provided me with so much inspiration, as well as peace of mind. Plus, when compared with the hike to Raven Rocks, it was practically a cake-walk, though it does have some minor challenges, and today was particularly slippery, after a few weeks worth of fallen leaves covering the forest floor.
In the meantime, I will be taking a self-imposed hiatus from all social media beginning November 1st, 2015. I'm not sure for how long it will be, but I will be back on board, eventually, in the coming new year. As much as I love posting and seeing what's going on on Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, etc, I'm looking forward to clearing my mind and opening up more time and (mental) space in my own personal life. Until then, feel free to browse the blog and have a good look around. Last but not least, my wife Kris and I will continue to have our paintings (many of which were inspired by this place) hanging up on exhibit at North Gate Vineyard near Purcellville, Virginia, through the very end of November. So, if you're in the area, do stop by!