Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bear... Finally - Nov 17

After 2700 miles of AT hiking over the last 13 years Pappy 12 actually saw a bear. Beautiful sight. With all the leaves off the trees the view is clear, deep into the woods making a bear's body easy to spot. It's black body stands out nicely against an all brown background. The bear in the photo below was actually the second one we saw, that time on Skyline Drive from the car. Now I'm expecting to see a bear behind every other tree.

We day hiked several days since I wrote last, from Snickers Gap, Rt 7, south to Rt 522 at Front Royal. We then took a four day trip hiking south from 522 into Shenandoah National Park.

This time Best Wife and I took two cars so we could credit card (motel) camp. Each day we drive one car to the beginning of our hike and hike to the other car. Then drive to a motel (Front Royal or Luray) for dinner, hot shower and a bed. The next morning we drive to the beginning of that days hike and hike to the other car. Then repeat for as many days as we want.

Hiking with only a day pack and credit card camping are a great way to go in cold weather. The downside is we miss the trail society in the evenings. Except that in cold weather there is little trail society available.

The sixth picture is of a large White Oak that I first saw about 6 years ago. As we approached Front Royal I was looking forward to enjoying this giant again, but it wasn't meant to be. The Big Boy has given up the ghost.

The picture of the group of kids on the trail is a school class from Locust Grove, VA on a field trip. They had hiked up to Mary's Rock just south of Thorton Gap. The teacher leading the charge was also the bus driver.

Check out the privy with a fancy Dutch door at Floyd Wayside Shelter. Bottom closed for privacy. The top open so you can do your business and enjoy nature at the same time.

We have 86.9 miles to go from the middle of SNP to 30 miles south of Waynesboro through beautiful woods on relatively easy treadway. Most of the hiking in SNP so far has been on dirt, well graded trail. It's going to be a real fun finish.

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