Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shenandoah Natl Park... the Appalachian Trail calls me... the bear scares me

Our stop in Shenandoah Natl. Park was too short. We just stayed the night in Big Meadows Campground and had to leave for the Poconos the next day, but that night was great. I took a hike with Billy that started from near our camp site , led onto the Appalachian Trail and then a smaller trail to Lewis Falls, and 81 foot waterfall in the middle of the forest. (see the map of this campground and some of the trails here... http://www.nps.gov/shen/PDF%20documents/Maps/Road_and_Trail/Big_Meadows_area.pdf) I was caught a bit off guard when it seemd the light was fading much sooner than i expexted. Billy and I were at Lewis Falls with quite a hike to get to safety(plus the sign that read: "STAY ON THE TRAIL.. FALLS CAN KILL" got my attention). We had hiked about 2 miles already with a 900 foot change in elevation and I was tired...so I could imagine how Billy felt... but he soldiered on. We made it backl to the RV and it was DARK. Last thing i wanted was to be caught stumbling through the forest were the park service was trying to trap a black bear that had been getting too close.

Well Billy earned his hike medallion that day for sure. The next morning before we left camp Jeffrey and i did a little of the same hike. There was an outcropping of rocks at the edge of the moutain that allowed you to see the valley and full range of mountains, ridges and gaps... while sitting near the EDGE! totally awesome.




Lewis Falls behind Billy.



Jeffrey on the Appalachian Trail

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