Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Summer Solstice

June 21, 2018                                                                            Previous Posts:
Lewis Mountain Campground                                                      Dark Hollow and Rose River Falls
Shenandoah National Park                                                         Lewis Mountain Top


solstice 1

Jumping ahead to this current day, I’m wishing you all a Joyful Summer Solstice.  It should be a holiday even if it isn’t officially but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t CELEBRATE.

It’s the longest day of the year  so CELEBRATE our amazing planet EARTH!


Remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
Revolving at 900 miles an hour

It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so its reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.

The sun and you and me and all the stars that you can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm at 40,000 miles an hour
In a galaxy they call the Milky Way
The Milky Way.

Our galaxy contains a hundred million stars
It’s a hundred thousand light-years side-to-side

It bulges in the middle 16,000 light-years thick
But out by us it’s just 3,000 light-years wide

We’re 30,000 light-years from galactic central-point
We go round every 200 million years
And this galaxy is only one of millions and billions
In this amazing and expanding universe
Expanding Universe.

The Universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizzz

As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know,
12 million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.

So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And sink your roots deep into the galaxy,
Dance of life, Planet Earth.
Yes sink your roots deep into reality,
Dance your life for Planet Earth

If you’d like to listen to the song use this link to hear Deep Ecologist John Seed and Dana Lyons sing my favorite version

Solstice 6

Here’s how I was  hoping to celebrate!

I planned to watch the sun set over the mountains in the West tonight at 8:40 pm for the shortest night of the year but it was rained out in a huge way with a giant thunderstorm complete with Winnona shaking thunder and exciting lighting which try as I might, I could get no pictures of from under my awning. 

Then I thought I’d rise and shine WAY early and get to one of the few overlooks on the Skyline Drive facing east by 5:15am to get the wonderful colors before  5:50 when the sun would be doing its own rising and shining.  After the most of the night rain, I gave up on a hike to the top of Bearfence mountain at dawn as too slippery. 

I was up in time but this is what it looked like for the next hour.  Clearly the folks who came in yesterday had seen the weather forecast.  They are hunkered down and covered up.   The air is wet but it isn’t raining YET.


blackberry pancakes

I’d also planned to be at Big Meadows Lodge when it opens at 7:30am for my post sunrise breakfast of Blackberry Pancakes so I could get started on the main event of the day. That part worked out just fine.  The Blackberry pancakes were great.

At least it’s not going to be a blazing Solstice Day like most other places in the mid atlantic with temperatures well into the 90’s.  Although the constantly pending rain has made the humidity unbearable.

I saved a special hike for this day.  It’s a tough hike to my favorite waterfall.  Rain was predicted for 2pm but like nearly every day, it’s 5pm now and it didn’t show up. Thankfully.  Though I might have stayed longer at the falls had no rain been predicted.

I’m back from the Cave Waterfall Hike and I’m exhausted.  6.78 miles to the falls and back.  The return is all up hill, most of it steep and rocky.  But I’m again absolutely convinced that in spite of the rough trail and the impossible last 3/10th of a mile, it is my favorite place in Shenandoah and perfect for the Summer Solstice.

The hike and pictures will be reported in order.   I’m way too tired to put up what Cave Falls deserves.

I just want to honor this special day with a short post.
Hope in your comment you’ll let me know how you are celebrating this amazing Universe on Summer Solstice.

Solstice 3


  1. You are such a focused and true lover of the Natural world, and what a lovely tribute this is to your celebration! Thank you for reminding me of the Solstice - DUH, how could I forget AGAIN? Drugs of course. But mainly I want to say thank you for reminding me of the John Seed & Dana Lyons version, although I will never forget my first my 1st experience of John Seed & Ruth Rosenhek at an event you organized in Virginia as part of your Blue Ridge Earth Aliance way back when (another chapter in another story). Thank you for bringing it back. I was further blown away to learn this lyric was originally the work of Monty Python and that the late Stephen Hawking had done a 'cover' of it! All of which is totally amazing and a perfect introduction to remembering on the Summer Solstice how amazing is our good fortune to just be here and see this all happening around us!

  2. We’ve enjoyed those pancakes many times at Skyline when we were in VA. Sorry your solstice plans got rained out, but at least you got to enjoy some cooler weather.

  3. Our Summer Solstice was very Soggy:o(( Lots of Rain, No Sun, No Hikes BUT...the waterfalls will be so beautiful tomorrow:o))) Mother nature is amazing!!! Happy Solstice!!!

  4. I feel a little dizzy just thinking about how fast I am moving:))

  5. Still light outside, but it is most hours for these few weeks.

  6. I thought of you, knowing how your celebrate every year. We finally left Florida where the heat had been unbearable and are slowly making our way to to the Ga mountains and hopefully summer cooler weather.

  7. Hard to imagine a Summer Solstice without bright sun! Shore of acknowledging the special day, we didn't do anything this year other than grab some time with Bill's aunt and cousin. I always love the fog, but knowing it's hot fog convinces me I don't want to share it with you!!

    1. Well actually it was not hot fog. It hasn't been hot up here at all. That's in the foothills below me. Just before the rain it is humid but otherwise it's grand.

  8. Sun or no sun, it sounds as though you enjoyed a wonderful Summer Solstice! We hiked in Bozeman, MT surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers and snow-capped mountains—finished just before the skies opened up and delivered a torrential rainstorm. :-)

  9. I was thinking of you guys and the wonderful Solstice cake you usually make. Yum :)

  10. Even with fog and thick air you made this a special day. I was the same lazy smuck as usual.

  11. Fog or no I am glad you celebrated! I had a summer get together with my 'cheif group' at work. Got to meet some new people and get out of the house :) Those pancakes!!! Delicious looking. Yum!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!