More Virginia… 

Rockfish Gap marks the southern terminus of Shenandoah National Park. Bill and I decided to stay at Stanimals Hostel for two nights. The bonus for that included a high milage day of slackpack hiking. More than 14 miles of almost all downhill walking… hiker heaven. Look what awaited us at the end of the hike.. 

Next day we were hiking down Three Ledges Mountain, planning to meet my former VT, NH hiking buddies Jan and Chip who were going to join us for a few days. As we were navigating the rocky decent, can you see what Bill encountered right in the middle of the Trail? 

Met Jan and Chip at the base of Priest Mountain. Long 3000 foot acent followed for the afternoon. 

Tradition has it that you are supposed to confess your sins at this rock on the summit of Priest Mountain :

Our foursome had a great time the next four days:

Jan and Chip left the trail to return to their West Virginia home on Sunday. My son Ed was visiting friends in local Tennessee this weekend, so he came by to pick me up and we both headed home to Cooperstown for me to take a brief “break”. I’ll be headed back to Virginia in a week to rejoin Bill on the trail. 

Shanendoah National Park… 

Tom hiked into the northern boundary entrance to Shanendoah National Park with Bill and me.  The AT trail in the  Park is one hundred plus miles following Skyline Drive as they both weave southward through the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a beautiful stretch of the AT with relatively “easy” hiking with lots of good rewards (nice views). 

Just after we entered,  the rains started. 5-7 inches in a one day forcast. Tom had already made arrangements to go back home to Cooperstown. Bill and I decided to take a “zero” day, so we called for a shuttle down to the town of Luray to stay at the Open Arms Hostel. Met an interesting guy, Eric Masterson, who was also staying the night at the hostel. Eric is an ornithologist who is following radiotagged Broad Winged hawks as they migrate from northeast United States down to South America. He’s following them by bike as he peddles the entire journey himself! You can follow him on his blog at 

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rains let up the next day and Bill and I started hiking in earnest. First nice views on Pass Mountain 

Later that night we camped at the Pass Mountain Hut with an interesting looking tree right in front of the campsite. 

heMore vistas the next day and ended up staying at the Skyland Resort and Restaurant. Met my first bear! 

That night we tented, and the next morning as we parted our campsite, we met our second bear:

Apples and honey the next night to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

More hiking through pretty scenery. Next night I met three health care workers/hikers at the shelter. Trail names Trail Witch, Imagine and Funsize: they were respectively a Respiratory Therapist, a cardiac cath nurse and a neonatal nurse Specialist. 

Next day was very foggy and misty along the mountain trails 

Yesterday had a stop at Sawmill Overlook followed by a nice campfire at night. 

Today was our last day in the Park. We summited Little Calf Mountain and on top there were three tractor seats cemented on posts right on the summit crest. I took a brief rest :

As we finished our hike down the mountain into the town of Waynesboro VA, we took a break alongside  a fence. Bill is studying the map to plan our day tomorrow.  A prize to the first person who can decifer what that word is before”eveything”. 

Tomorrow we start hiking further south along more of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Keep you posted. Thanks again for following!