Well, sure …
As you all know Peter and I took off for the hills on Saturday.
Early in the morning we drove our car to one of my favorite places on this earth, Shenandoah National Park here in Virginia. Shenandoah is located about an hour west of Reston. It is —simply— a stunning place.
It is humbling to have all this beauty in “your own back yard”. I fell in love with Shenandoah the first time I got there many, many years ago.
And, just listen to its name … Shenandoah. Doesn't that very name sound like a fairy tale? I think so.
Oh, Shenandoah! Your mountains, your valleys and your beautiful nature. Thank you for letting me be a part of you for some short hours.
This is the view from where we parked, on an overlook on Skyline Drive. So lovely. It is about 8:45.
Peter is hiking away!
When you enter Shenandoah NP, by car, you enter on Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive is a scenic road that will take you UP on these mountains. Once you are up on the ridge Skyline Drive will take you thru peaks and gaps. It is a fantastic road to drive. And, you can get out of your car at numerous overlooks along the way and enjoy the fantastic views.
And, it also takes you to ALL the trails and vistas in Shenandoah NP.
IF you ever come to my part of Virginia I demand of you to make it to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. It is a unique place on this earth.
The green tunnel ...
Peter and I hiked 10 miles (16 kilometers) on our beloved Appalachian Trail this warm, sunny and windy June Saturday.
The hike was demanding at times, a lot of inclines and the terrain was very rocky at times.
YOU have got to be careful where you place your feet. Sure, you also have to look out for snakes (Black snakes, poisonous Copperheads and poisonous Rattle snakes) as you trek along, very important!
Yup, it is SO nice when you have reached the summit! Peter is always brave when it comes to heights, and walking close to the edge. It does not faze him. Me? No I cannot really walk up to the edge. This is close enough for me.
This hike took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes. It brought us up on lovely ridges and to beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Blue Ridge Mountains is a perfect name for this mountain chain (part of the Appalachians). Blue Ridge Mountains have this very, very blue shimmer around them. Yes, it is nothing but magical!
You can see Skyline Drive in this pic.
Vistas and ridges for miles.
Trail Angels for Thru Hikers!
Yes, Peter and I did our first "duty" as so called Trail Angels for the many hikers that hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Many of these thru-hikers ARE in Shenandoah right now on their trek to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Peter and I dropped off a cooler filled to the brim with water, cokes, chips, granola bars, beef jerky and candy. The hikers can help themselves to the goodies as they come along.
It felt SO good being Trail Angels. So, we’ll repeat this angel “duty” soon again.
I talked to a guy, around my age. He is thru-hiking, and he started down at Springer Mountain in Georgia on April, 1. He’s planning on completing his hike on September, 1 in Maine. He’s from New Hampshire. Really nice guy, He got all the left overs from our cooler, and he was very thankful! He said he’s been losing SO much weight on this hike (and I believe that). Trail magic is a fantastic thing to recieve for a hungry thru-hiker! The guy writes a blog about his hike along the Appalachian Trail, and in this post he actually mentions us. Nice that he calls us "young", and even though I am the Swedish one we can "pretend" that Peter is Swedish as well :-) Nice to be acknowledged.
Black bears in the park!
I follow Shenandoah National Park on Facebook. On Friday one could read about the big black bear population in the park. The bears have cubs right now, and they are quite active in the woods by the moment.
And sure enough, PETER AND I DID SEE A BACK BEAR!! Kind of creepy, a little scary and kind of COOL, all at the same time!!
The bear was in a safe distance from us. VERY thankful for THAT! But, now we have seen our first wild black bear!
The Mountain Laurels were in bloom. OOOO, they are so beautiful!
The trail. STEEP and ROCKY!!
So, needless to say, a lovely hike on an otherwise steaming HOT day. BUT, I can also tell you that the temperature in the mountains was so much more comfortable and nice than in Reston. Here it was 96F (36 C) and humid, In the mountains it was around 90 F (30 C) and not humid at all, at least not much humidity.
Time for lunch. This looks like a fab spot!
Yup, it is that hubster of mine sitting on the edge ... Good grief ...
Shenandoah, I cannot WAIT to return to YOU!!
Forever in my heart!
Peter's pic, of course. Taken from his spot on the mountain looking down.
Lunch time. Pasta salads are great trail food. Coffee is a must! And, the phone so you can snap an Instagram picture, and post it, if you have coverage, that is ...
Here I am!! Finally lunch time!
A lunch with a view! AND, look at the ridges, at least four. Blue Ridge Mountains forever and ever!
Sometimes you have to stop and just have a look!
Sure thang, this IS the trail. Yikes.