Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hiking in Shenandoah Valley

The Plan:
Friday July 4th:
Drive up and meet our friends EriK and Ashley in the middle of Shenandoah National Park around 1:00. Hike 4 miles to campsite...set up camp and have some fun.

Saturday July 5th:
Enjoy a nice breakfast in the woods and hike 8-ish miles viewing some waterfalls along the way, then set up camp and enjoy the evening.

Sunday July 6th:
Hike 6ish miles rounding out our loop after some breakfast then drive back home.

What actually happened:
Friday July 4th:
Got delayed a little at the house and meet up with Erik and Ashley at 2:00. Got ready to go and it downpoured. We hung out under the information center where we were starting our hike for 10 minutes and then headed out when it stopped raining. We hiked 5+ miles and finally found a campsite. Set up camp, ate some great freeze dried dinner and homemade brownies, hung out, watched the two Eric's hang our food (which took like 30 minutes) and went to bed.

Overnight...it poured down rain, leaving EriK's shoes soaking wet since he had left them outside the tent fly.

Saturday July 5th:
Got up late and ate some poptarts and an apple. Everything was pretty wet but it wasn't raining anymore. Packed up and left at 10:20am for our hike. We climbed a mountain that lasted 1.7 (or 1.2) miles where we stopped numerous times. Hiked a few more miles and stopped for lunch and a road crossing of Skyline Dr. We probably stayed here for an hour. Hiked a little on the AT and down the mountain and stopped at a nice waterfall for a little break. We got to what was suppose to be campsite #2 around 3:00pm and decided to hike a little further to find another campsite.

This hiking a little further meant climbing up another mountain along the river with no campsite to be found for us. I think we climbed up for at least 2 miles. Close to 6:30 EriK decided to OK a spot that was almost like a campsite. And we were less than a mile to a campground. We started to unpack and the bugs were out of control. I voted to hike to the campground and everyone else ended up agreeing. When we got to the campground, we were in a cloud and 5 minutes later it downpoured.

I think it downpoured for maybe 30 minutes. We all walked in the pouring rain for 5 min to the ranger station and got under it to stay somewhat dry while we debated what to do. We were freezing at this point and our car was a mile down the road. Hmmmm.....

Maybe 10 minutes later, the ranger drove Eric down to the car and we packed it up. :)
Drove to Charlottesville, VA and ate some pizza at almost 10pm and drove to one of EriK and Ashley's family friends house and went to bed.

Sunday July 6th:
Woke up and showered and left Dan's house around 9am, stopped at a local bagel shop and had breakfast and coffee before driving home.

I will post some pics soon once Ashley sends me a few (I only took a couple). My hamstrings and glutes are still sore. But one lesson we all learned: campsites are not that common in Shenandoah, so plan accordingly.

MONDAY July 7th:
Eric convinced me to go for a long ride yesterday to Chapel Hill and then he would ride home. I took the hilly route (WHAT WAS I THINKING). Called ez twice thinking I wouldn't make it not knowing how far/close I was since I was taking a new route. The last time I called, he told me 7 miles. OK, I can make it...but it wasn't 7, it was 10. Those last 3 miles were torture.

I get to the car and pack my bike in and start driving home, not the quick way but the long way, past the creamery I have been dying to try. As I get closer I pass Eric on his way riding home and way. He ends up pulling in the ice cream store telling me he knew I was headed there when I passed him, and tells me he doesn't think he is going to make it home. We agree that he will ride a little while and i will pick him up down the road after I eat my homemade, straight from the cows ice cream (one scoop vanilla lavender, once scoop carolina crunch-which were both excellent).

So I rode 50 and suffer like there is no tomorrow because he tells me I can make it, and he rides 23 and drive him home. The race this weekend might be painful.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Ahhhh, good times! Next time we need to order up a better forecast. :)