A Valley Forge nature hike turned architecture stroll

The first of my two hikes this month was at Valley Forge National Historical Park and going into that weekend, weather was a concern. Would it snow or not? Luckily, no snowfall came out of our forecast; it was sunny yet still on the chilly side. As the group I joined began to gather and sign in on a leader’s checklist, the wind made it feel worse. Even with gloves on, I was rubbing my hands to warm them up.

While chatting with fellow hikers, I gazed up toward the trees as lone man walked just along the edge of the woods. From the color of his clothes, it appeared that he was wearing a Revolutionary War era soldier’s uniform. The same goes for gear worn over his dark blue jacket. He trekked on around a corner, up a hill and was out of sight. Any re-enactors wandering the trails on their own?

Before long, we headed out of the Knox parking lot, across the road and up toward the trail facing into the wind. Our hike would consist of about 30 minutes going uphill and I wasn’t sure I could make it as the icy feel of the wind quickly got to me.

My visit to the park wasn’t lost to the still-too-wintry weather; it was a long drive getting there, so I thought I’d wander around Washington Chapel. On the way, I stopped to snap a photo of construction at the General von Steuben statue, followed by an image of a nearby historic building.

This intriguing little shed is along the driveway between two parking lots at the chapel. Ivy climbing its wooden walls gives it an enchanting, fairy-tale vibe. Gnarled trees looming over me evoked that same feeling of slowly, cautiously stepping into a mysterious forest in which magical stories are often set.

I managed to take a handful of photos around the ornate site itself, yet encountered a problem with my phone.

Only moments prior to the earlier hike, my phone had only charged up to 80 percent in the car. It dropped to 65 by the time I arrived at the chapel and while trying to take photos, it suddenly shut off. It wouldn’t turn back on even with several attempts at pushing the power button. By then, I had only walked around the chapel for 10 minutes. I couldn’t do anything other than head back to the car. Upon plugging in again, the battery was less than 10 percent. I couldn’t believe that in such a short time, it drained at least 55 percent.

I’m glad that I captured a few photos, including those of several details I hadn’t spotted before when visiting the chapel in the past. Here are some of my favorites from this spur-of-the-moment architecture stroll.

After that sunbeam-filled shot, I tried snapping another and that’s when my phone just stopped working. Having only briefly explored the chapel, I didn’t think it was a battery issue. Yet, that was the case; it was in the red.

As for the hike, I’m planning to take on that trail in warmer days later this spring or in the summertime.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at http://cdwyerfilminspired.wordpress.com - and my literary blog at http://cdwyerbookishgrad.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Architecture, Hiking, Historic, National Parks, Nature, Pennsylvania, Photography, Travel, Valley Forge, Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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