Wednesday, May 30, 2012


     I left Big Meadow campground with my father, this time with no hills for him to toil up.  Not that he toils, but the terrain was easy going so he stayed with me for a mile or so, then we went our separate ways.  I got a late start to the day, but still had an ambitious goal for my destination for the night.  I kept a fast steady pace throughout the afternoon only stopping for short periods of time to eat a little, drink some water and rest.  The day was warm, but not overly to the point of me being constantly soaked.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


     I returned to Rockfish gap and entered the "Shennies".  That't the nickname for Shenandoah National Park, I figured since I walked to them I should be able to call them by their casual name.  So not more than a half mile of walking I came to a little wooden booth in the woods.  Here I filled out a little registration tag, it asked for name, address, where I will be staying, how I will be getting there, next of kin to contact when I am mauled to death by fearless bears that want to eat my gorp.  The "Shennies" want all overnight hikers to stay in designated shelter areas in order to reduce the impact on the land.  It is much the same as the Smokies were.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


     I hit the trail late in the day with a weather report promising that rain was on the way.  I only planned on hiking five miles to the nearest shelter which rumor said was a palace among shelters.  Sure enough when I got there I took in the behemoth that could hold twenty people on two levels, had windows throughout and plenty of seating.  I set up my sleeping bag in the penthouse suite and settled in for the night.  Not long after darkness fell the rains began.  They lulled me to sleep and greeted me in the morning.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


     I headed back into the woods for a quick two day, thirty mile section.  As soon as I stepped back on the trail I was greeted with the same odd noise that I heard prior.  This time though I spotted the culprit, cicadas.  I saw live ones on trees and and leaves and little cicada corpses littering the ground.  Evidently this is the seventeen year arrival for this part of Virginia.  I was kind of hoping for a more exciting reason for the noise, maybe a secret military test gone awry, alien space craft hovering overhead, or even just Dalleville Virginia being sucked into a worm hole to another universe, ya know, exciting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


     My father was about to give me a ride back to the trail when I spotted this neat looking caterpillar sitting on the side view mirror.  I stopped and snapped a picture and then got in the car.  Two seconds later a man at the RV park was waving his hands at us and I knew immediately what he was signaling.  I left my backpack leaning against the back of the car and forgot about it when I saw the damn caterpillar.  There was only minor damage when we backed up, man, I am such a ditz at times.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wood's Hole

     I started back on the trail after laying up for a day with my dad.  The afternoon was very warm and humid and I was feeling pretty drained from my bout with stomach issues.  The trail climbed up a hill directly from the road crossing and then back down to a river valley.  For the next several miles the trail wound around the river crossing small little creeks along the way.  It would have been really easy walking if I was feeling a hundred percent, but I had to stop, sit down, rest and collect myself more times than I have ever had to.

    By mid afternoon I reached Wapiti shelter which was still along the river, but sat right at the base of a mountain that the trail went up.  I sat down and ate some food, contemplating whether or not to stay for the night or push six miles more to a hostel I had been hearing about for the last couple of days.  As the debate raged in my head I happened to read some paper left on the shelter floor from a previous hiker.  It was a photo copy from a guide book that gave some history about the shelter I was sitting in.  It said "Wapiti" was a native word for Elk and that the shelter used to be located further down the trail, but was moved when someone was murdered in it.   Hostel it is.