Sunday, March 28, 2010
Summer Plans in the Making
This day sorta marks our official end of winter. Clearly, the calendar says we are in the spring season and the temperatures have warmed up enough to lead us to believe mother nature thinks winter is over. For us, the season changes when we leave our winter destinations and move to what we think of as our summer travels.
Tomorrow we embark on the first leg of our summer travels for 2010. This will be a hiking year with not so much sightseeing. There will be places, of course, where we stop for a historical site or a museum, but the focus will be hiking. So, it is on to the trail.
Our first stop will be Townsend, TN where we’ll be for a month, to hike in Smoky Mountain National Park. Townsend is a convenient location for several trails that lead up the mountain to connect with the Appalachian Trail. Being AT hikers and the recipients of several instances of “trail magic”, we want to be “trail angels” for a change and make a little “magic” for other hikers. More about trail angels and trail magic in another post.
Our next stop will be in northern Virginia south of Shenandoah National Park. Our last section hike on the AT ended there. Even though I have hiked the northern 20 miles of the Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway and most of the trail through Shenandoah, Gene hasn’t, so we’ll start where we left off. We hope to hike the 300 miles to the Pennsylvania border. Our idea is to day hike with a self shuttle this time--something we’ve never done. Basically, that means Gene will drop me at the southern end of the day’s section where I will start hiking north. He will drive north to our end point for the day where he’ll leave the truck and hike south. We should meet somewhere near the mid point. According to a link I found on the Appalachian Trail web site which lists all the parking areas along the trail, there is a place to park the truck about every 12-15 miles in this section of Virginia. That’s a nice day-hike length. We’re allowing ourselves 2 months to hike the 300 miles. Of course, we’ll have to have days off for chores and we’ll need to move the trailer north as the drive becomes too lengthy. Still, I think 2 months is an adequate amount of time.
The first of July will still find us somewhere around the northern end of Shenandoah. We want to do a little sightseeing in the DC area and we want to spend a few days with our friends, Tony and Diana. We are looking forward to seeing them--swapping tall tales and planning future adventures.
By the middle of July we will need to be heading north for what has become known as the “Maine Event”. Several RVing couples are getting together on the Maine coast for fun, fellowship, lobster and chowder. There will definitely be some tall tales told at that gathering.
By August 9th we will be in Gorham, New Hampshire, a small Appalachian Trail town on the Maine border. You’ve heard me talk about our hiking buddy, Herb. Herb has section hiked the AT over the past several years. He has now (he probably thinks, finally) come to his last section. He will hike from Crawford Notch in New Hampshire to the Trail’s northern terminus atop Mt Katahdin in Maine. Herb has been a good friend for several years and has been a tremendous support in our hiking endeavors. We want to help him out with his last section of the AT. We’ll move the trailer north as Herb hikes his 300+ miles to the finish being there to shuttle him into town, hold extra gear, and provide an endless supply of chocolate chip cookies.
This will be a summer of hiking. We haven’t hiked much in the past couple years and we are really looking forward to getting back on the trail again.