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Hiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trailHiking Dragon's Tooth Trail by Allison Mannella Photography: http://allisonmannella.com/hiking-dragons-tooth-trail

During our month in Virginia this summer, Mike and I took advantage of some great nearby hiking spots, including Dragon’s Tooth Trail near Catawba, Virginia. As usual, Mike had done a lot of research before we left, and we agreed to leave the dogs at home for this hike. Thank goodness we did! The first two-thirds of the hike were fun – challenging in some parts, but manageable. We took two super short breaks for water, but nothing out of the ordinary. Then we were looking at a wall of sheer rock and noticed that there were indeed trail markers encouraging us onwards and upwards. We were both very thankful to not have to navigate the narrow footholds of the rock with two nervous beagles in tow.

But after surviving the most challenging part of the trail and enjoying a little lunch, we decided that the view was indeed worth the climb. That wall o’ rock was also challenging on the decent, where nearby wildlife overheard me yell, “Stop talking!” to my sweet husband who was shouting encouraging words to my clumsy self. We took a different path back to the car, instead following more of the Appalachian Trail. We didn’t meet any hikers who planned to be on the trail for more than a week, but it was still incredible to imagine someone doing that stretch carrying all of their gear and equipment.

Hiking with too much camera equipment in Thailand (though worth it for the resulting images) taught me to be a little more strategic in my packing. For this trip, I took my very first 35 mm (a Minolta XG-A with a Sigma 24mm lens), so I could capture images of us and the views along the way. It’s incredibly lightweight and easy to fit in my pack. It doesn’t capture beloved medium format images, but it did result in images that were far superior to our iPhones. It only holds sentimental value, so if the worst happened, I would be sad, but I could also afford to replace it. I wanted to have the nearby selfie-taking, make-up applying teenagers snap a picture of us at the top, but I thought their heads might explode if I told them it was film, they would need to look through something called a viewfinder, and they would need to manually focus the shot. Happy trails!

All shot on Portra 800 and developed by Richard Photo Lab.

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  1. Joyce Philbrick

    October 10th, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Allie, that looks like a very challenging hike, probably one at this age I wouldn’t have been able to attempt, but hat off to the two of you. The views looked as the they were totally awesome. I admire you for doing it.

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