Sunday, June 3, 2012

Waynesboro, VA to Luray, VA

Mile 936

Shenandoah National Park has been wonderful! It seems like a lot of hikers complain about the Shenandoahs for some reason or another, but we have really liked it so far.  We've seen lots wildlife, done several big mileage days, enjoyed the waysides, and experienced some trail magic.  The trail runs through the Shenandoahs for 100 miles and next to/near/crossing Skyline Drive.

We've seen some fun and not so fun animals! A few miles away from our first shelter, we saw our first bear. It walked across the trail 100 feet in front of us and didn't really care that we were there. We also saw a family of wild turkeys that day- a momma turkey and eight little babies.

On our second day we were walking along, Beau ahead of me, and all of a sudden he yelled "SON OF A GUN!" and jumped back several feet.  Hidden in the grass in the middle of a trail was a rattlesnake.  He didn't see it until he was right over top of it, his foot only a few inches from its head.  Now that we have some experience with rattlesnakes, we know these guys kind of hold their ground.  Eventually he slithered off the trail and we were able to pass.  The rest of the day Beau was super paranoid about finding more snakes.  A few hours later, I saw a little baby deer laying in the grass! Beau walked right past it and didn't notice.  We were about a foot away from it taking pictures, and it didn't even get up or look frightened.  It was so tiny and cute.  Our third day we only saw some deer in the morning, probably because it was a Saturday and there were tons of day hikers out.

We went to bed super early one night, and missed seeing a huge bear by the spring.  All the other people in our group were still milling around and saw it, but we missed out.

Camouflaged rattlesnake! 

little tiny fawn
Another plus with the Shenandoahs: Waysides! There are a few diners or restaurants along Skyline and within a mile from the AT.  It's a wonderful thing to look forward to.

Thursday morning "brunch". I think this is the first time I've had two patties on my hamburger.
Joiner, Pepperboy, Golden, Wildflower (in the background), Nito, Lance Armstrong, and Crush
 Friday "tea time". Blackberry milkshakes say what?

Bigfoot, Bigfoot's friend, Crush, Pepperboy, Progress
Saturday did not have a wayside in the plan for us, but we were lucky enough to run into some trail magic by a church youth group. Hamburgers and watermelon all around!

A few more photos from the past few days:

Golden & I. The careful observer will note that this is my third backpack.

We're getting back on the trail this afternoon and are carrying enough to get us to.... HARPER'S FERRY!!! We'll be going home for a few days to rest and see friends.  If anyone is interested in coming over, we're having a BBQ Saturday the 9th at my parents house at 5pm. Email or text me for details!


  1. That's fun you get to go home for a bit! Wish I could see you. Loving the trip updates and all the photos. Keep 'em coming!

  2. I missed the BBQ! I'm sorry! I didn't realize it was Saturday until 2 hours ago. I love the picture of your fawn! And scary on the rattler! Stay safe and keep up the updates! I love reading them! :)

  3. ummm ... I want details on why it is your 3rd backpack! I don't even think you talked about the retirement of your first one?!

    1. Haha... Nothing too exciting. I started out with one that I'd had for a while, but within a couple weeks the waist belt was too big. I switched it out for a smaller one my parents had, but it hurt my shoulder. After dealing with that for several weeks, I finally broke down and bought a new Gregory pack. However, Beau is using my original pack, so at least we didn't have to buy him one!