Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Out of Shenandoah National Park

I got to hike north today so I dropped Gene off at Manassas Gap then drove back to Compton Gap on Skyline Drive.  Boy, was that a world of difference in settings.  Compton Gap is in deep woods just off Skyline Drive--a scenic byway with a 35 mph speed limit.  Manassas Gap is only feet from an I-66 overpass with cars and trucks screaming down the highway at 65+ mph.  On the trail, within minutes the sound of traffic on Skyline drive vanishes leaving only the sound of birds.  Several miles before I reached Manassas Gap I could hear the sound of rushing traffic.

First signs of civilization
Hiking north, I was seemingly alone on the trail.  I didn’t see anyone until I came to VA 522 a few miles from Front Royal.  I passed them while they were taking a break and they passed us while Gene and I were having lunch on the side of the trail.  I didn’t see anyone else until I was almost finished with my hike.  Gene, on the other hand, got to see several people northbound, including Eddie whom I has spoken with yesterday.

Nice resting bench under an apple tree

Today’s hike took us out of Shenandoah National Park which is kind of a milestone for us.  We have now hiked over 200 miles since starting this project.  We have about 90 miles to go to reach our goal of the Mason-Dixon Line.

I thought the hike was interesting today, even if it was long and hard.  The couple of miles from Compton Gap to the Park boundary was in deep woods with no views, but almost immediately after I passed the boundary sign I came to a rock outcropping which offered a peek over the top of the trees to the ridge beyond.

Another couple miles and I came to Tom Floyd Shelter.  It was very close to the trail so I went over to check it out.  There was no one there so I took a picture and hurried on my way.  Gene met a lady later in the day who had stopped in and was greeted by a bear.  Thank you, Lord, for watching over me once again.

Our hike today also took us over some pasture land.  That was a first for this trip, although it is quite common in Central and Southern Virginia.

Tomorrow is a rest day.  I’m sure there will be a few chores to do, as well.

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