Saturday, November 15, 2008
Shenandoah National Park - Southern Section
Oct 25, 2008
From Smith Roach Gap to Loft Mtn campground; 14 miles
With my hubby serving as the gear guy, Mercy and I decided to slack today in the rain. Used a day pack with a rain cover, but it got soaked anyway (forcing me to realize I need a new pack cover for it). Skipper hiked with us for the first few miles then turned around to fetch the car and secure a campsite at Loft Mountain. I met up with Mercy at Pinefield Hut for lunch where she made the discovery she had left her lunch bag inside the car. Gave her a Snickers bar to help, but she was having second thoughts about the whole deal. She said this was like the third or fourth time she has wanted to quit on this trip. I tried to encourage her to keep things going, esp with how well she had done the previous day. We hiked on through the rain. Near Loft Mtn I was hailed by Skipper who was waiting for us. We were soon at the wayside for chili, fires, and grilled cheese. We then took the car and drove down to Turk Gap to scout out possible campsites for the next night. The mountains were arrayed in fiery splendor as the storm began to dissipate. Arrived back the campground, set up, then Skipper and I took the wet clothes to dry at the laundromat. I was also able to dry out some my shoes and seat cushion inside the nice warm restroom using the hand dryer. To bed in very damp conditions.
From Loft Mtn Campsite to Turk Gap; 15 miles
Awoke to find that frost had developed inside my tent, and when I jarred it, it literally snowed inside! Never had that happen that I could recall. Skipper cooked us breakfast of pan bread and chicken fingers. Again he would shuttle our packs to Turk Gap, so Mercy and I had another slack day. Enjoyed the beautiful view from Black Rock.
Leisurely hike on good terrain. Skipper had left the car at Turk Gap while he took his Boy Scout troop up Turk Mtn. So we arrived to fetch our packs and set up camp for the evening and our last night in SNP.
From Turk Gap to Rockfish Gap; 11.4 miles
Another pleasant day for hiking to our rendezvous with Paul Bunyan at Rockfish Gap. Saw some nice old growth forests along the way as well as views. Arrived in good time to make our pick up, having completed the entire park. How I wanted to keep going as I had begun to adapt once more to the rigors of the trail. But alas, home is calling and other duties. I hope to continue a section hike from Rockfish Gap to Pearisburg next April if it works out.