Breathtakingly beautiful. As a result of family obligations we began our hike in Shanendoah. We were so fortunate to do so. The park is beautiful and the vistas are more breathtaking than most we have been fortunate enough to see in past trips. I highly recommend a hiking trip to this jewel of a National Park.
As one thru hiker described it, “it’s up, down, parking lot, repeat”. As we get to the top of a tough climb I begrudge the descent because I know we are going to have to do it all over again. Fortunately we are hiking this part of The Trail now, because the tree cover has not bloomed yet. So each time we get to the top, we have a huge payoff. In several weeks the same won’t be true.
We have also stopped at two Waysides (restaurants on Skyline Drive) for some “real food”‘. Yesterday was the first real rain day we have experienced and while it was beautiful at the beginning, as the hours and the rain wore on, it was decidedly less so. As luck would have it we we hiked right next to Skyland Resort. It took a bit of doing but I convinced Grey Hare to have a nice warm dry lunch. It was terrific and the rain had stopped by the time we finished.
Most nights we sleep in our tent at a shelter or hut. It is so congenial as all of the nearby hikers straggle in for the night. Everyone prepares their meals and sits at the provided picnic table. Young (mostly) old, short tall , fast slow, we all gather and share our tales of the day. It is wonderful.
We also stop and chat with hikers who cross our paths on the trail. One particular hiker whose company we enjoyed so much we asked him to turn around and head NOBO is Kyle Parish. He is hiking for Make A Wish and if you can, donate to his cause: [email protected]
This has been a terrific, and I hear, gentle place to begin our journey. Fortunately for us.
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