Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

Since I worked so hard getting ready for, then selling at Sheep & Wool Fest, I rewarded myself with a little backpacking trip with Tami and Bev.
We left Wednesday and had gorgeous weather, 60's in the day, low 50's at night. Three days of hiking fun! We did the Mau-har trail, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Waynesboro, Virginia and some of the Appalachian Trail (AT for those of you in-the-know).
We set up camp and Tami gave Bev some knot tying lessons. Our favorite knot is the 'trucker's hitch' or 'canoe knot' or 'tent knot'. Basically, it's a self-tightening knot, a very good knot to know. If you don't know this knot, you should. If you don't know how to tie a good knot, tie lots of them!

 Bev is really concentrating and was a very good student.

Our kitchen was set up under our little tarp with my hiking poles. They come in very handy, especially as hiking poles as this was a very arduous, rocky trail that was up and down and down and up.

 Thursday we hiked to the Harper's Creek Shelter on the AT. Bev and I had done this hike about 5 years ago and stayed at this lovely spot. We just did a day hike and had lunch here. The AT is is a 2181-mile long trail that thru hikers travel from Georgia to Maine (NoBo) or Maine to Georgia (SoBo), northbound or southbound. About 3000 hikers attempt the trail a year but only 25% finish the entire length. We met 'Deleware Dave' at the shelter. He'd been on the trail for 3 months and had 3-4 months left to go. Hikers take on trail names. Bev was 'Bayou' and I was 'Dakota' when we did part of the trail (section hiker) 6 years ago. 

 Log books are kept at each shelter, which the hikers write in daily as they're passing through or camping at the site. A 'family' is formed along the trail as the hikers bond to certain other hikers and news spreads fast among them. I've read about people falling in love along the trail and getting married at the finish. 

The journal is an interesting read, telling about the animals one has seen, the weather, how to locate someone but most of all, the state of mind of the person. By reading some of the entries, I saw that some of these folks really needed this break in their life. 

But we are happy to just hike for a few days in the woods, walking through the mist, listening to the twitter of the birds and the cascading falls of the creek.

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