Friday, May 23, 2008

Trillium is King

View from Hightop Mountain

The Appalachian Trail roughly parallels Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park weaving its way back and forth across the road for some 100 plus miles. This is a day hikers dream—this is my dream. I have so many options here. Gene can drop me off at one point and pick me up down the road a few miles. Loft Mountain, Lewis Mountain, and Big Meadows campgrounds are all conveniently located practically on top of the AT making it easy to do a 1 or 2 night backpack and get a shower and a hamburger at the end of the day. What more could anyone want.

Today I chose to drive to Smith Roach Gap and hike from there to Swift Run Gap and back again. It was a beautiful section of trail up and over Hightop Mountain. At the beginning of my hike I thought that wild geranium would be the flower of the day. It was everywhere in full bloom. However, as I passed over the summit of Hightop I began to see white and pink trillium. Just a few scattered here and there at first, but as I progressed down the other side I saw trillium everywhere. Without a doubt, trillium ruled the day.
Wild Geranium
White Trillium
Pink Trillium

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