Tuesday August 18 and Wednesday August 19, 2015 Previous Post:
Lewis Mountain Campground Lewis Mountain, Quite a Story; Up to # 16
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Cloudy, gray, rainy day today. Each time we thought we would go out, the rain picked up in intensity so we just hung around the house., I was pretty decadent to sit inside the coach and have both phone and internet in the middle of Shenandoah National Park. Score one for Lewis Mountain Campground. Also, since this is a mostly tents campground, so far, no generators. Hope it stays that way. Although we could be in some trouble if it rains for days. Our solar panels wouldn’t be up to the task in that case. I’d hate to be the lone noisy RVer in the campground.
Another gray rainy day. The campground is pretty empty but it looks eerie in the fog. David has gone to the Cancer Center. I hope he doesn’t have to drive all the way in this soup. He’s also going out to the farm for something or other and to the dentist and a list of stuff as long as your arm so he’ll be lucky to be back before dark.
I noodle around the house, read some in All The Light We Cannot See which amazes me with the beauty and power of his language. About 11:30 I’m just too restless after being inside all day yesterday. So far only drizzle and no big down pours so I suit up and decide to put on my raincoat and take Rachel Carson’s advice “A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods”.
From Lewis Mountain Campground I can easily pick up the AT and walk north to Bootens Gap which will finish off my AT hiking of the Central Section of the park.
There is something very intimate about walking a trail in the fog and drizzle. I’m definitely the only one out this morning. I don’t even hear the birds.
I can see just ahead but find that I’m looking at the ground most of the time.
Fall is definitely beginning on the mountain.
The trail is rocky and I’m glad the fog is not so thick it prevents me from seeing it clearly. I notice along several sections that there are the rock walls put in by the CCC I assume when they moved the AT to make room for the Skyline Drive. I’d like to ask the PATC Trail people if they have had to redo any of these over their stewardship all these years. I’m betting not.
It’s too foggy to see them in advance but when I get right next to them, the blackberries invite me to have a few. You can see them behind me. I pop handfuls in my mouth.
One of the last flowers to bloom, white snakeroot was used by settlers to treat snake bite. According to my information, snakeroot is bitter and contains a toxin called tremetol. If cows consume white snakeroot, it contaminates their milk. In the 1800s many people, including Abraham Lincoln’s mother, were killed by a mysterious malady that no one could identify. The mystery was finally solved by physician Dr. Anna Pierce Hobbs Bixby who methodically studied the disease and traced its deaths to consumption of tainted milk and butter. My source says “During her research she befriended a Shawnee woman who may have played a key role in the discovery of ‘milk sickness’.” Native Americans didn’t have cows and I don’t think they could “milk” buffalo so I wonder how the Shawnee woman would have helped.
This may be my favorite picture of the day.
Trees to hug are easy to see even in the mist as are interesting shaped mushrooms on logs at the trail’s edge.
Lovely woven webs stand out in the mist and the drizzle.
Even little creepy crawlies catch my eye.
When I arrive at Bootens Gap, I walk out to the Skyline Drive to see how foggy it is there. The answer, much more than in the woods. Even zoomed up you can hardly read the road sign that says Bootens Gap Elevation 3235
On the way back, it continued to drizzle but the little guys were still out and so was I. Rachel Carson is right.
Here are actually some better views of the trial work ledges done by the CCC and maintained by the PACT.
The fog just didn’t lift all day but it was still such a beautiful walk in the woods.
I love having a house in the woods or at the beach or on a lake or a river. So many beautiful back yards to come home to.
Knock off another piece of the trial. 6.88 miles out and back. 17, 439 steps.