Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Rachel Carson is Right - Lewis Mountain to Bootens Gap

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.












More signs of fall along the way in the flowers that are now in bloom and the leaves covering the path in many sections.IMG_4093




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.





  1. That is a good hike. I am now feeling guilty as I am just over 5K steps for the day and at the moment it is just to hot out there for me. I wonder what Rachel would say to that?

  2. Awesome pics for a rainy foggy walk. Almost seven miles is beyond my walking limit.

  3. Love that you can find joy in a misty day. Most people just complain as if they are owed a perfect day. Finding joy needed to be our mission, only then do we find elusive peace.

  4. A very different mood, hiking in the mist!

  5. The last time I was at that campground I woke up to a really thick fog. I had to get on my way and hoped it would lift as I drove further south, but it never did. The Smoky Mountains is another beautiful place to hike when it's foggy.

  6. Very beautiful photos. Perfect for framing.

  7. You make the most of every day, rain or not. Loved the foggy pictures, they put such a different perspective on the wonders of nature. :c)

  8. Beautiful - a walk in the fog is always so mysterious - it makes everything seem magical. Hiking in mist is a different experience than hiking on a clear day - definitely made for some beautiful pictures. 6.8 miles. Impressive - as always :)

  9. A foggy day on the trail is just as pretty. So different, but still a wonderful hike.

  10. Looks like a perfect day on the trail! I love the mystery and solitude the fog fosters. I just love all the fungus you get out there!

  11. I love the foggy, damp, almost fall scenery - lovely pics! And, nice to see some colorful flowers still blooming and the fungi! Not quite ready for fall/winter but am liking the temperature change :)

  12. Your pictures are lovely despite the rain and fog. Great idea.

  13. We also like to walk in the woods on a rainy day. I shudder every time I see you or David hugging a tree. I think of all the squirrels that may have crawled up that tree, after running through poison ivy. With Als' extreme reaction to PI, there is no tree hugging in our family. LOL. Interesting about the snakeroot. We are also seeing some fall colors here. I'm hoping we'll have amazing fall colors this year. I'm wondering if it may be a little early?

  14. I too love the look and feel of the woods in mist and dew, with clouds just hanging out with you - what a treat! The way the moisture brings out the hidden webs is also treat that you captured so well in your pictures. Sorry I missed that hike but happy you made it and shared so much of the wonder it held.

  15. I love this hike, the mood is so calm and peaceful, so mysterious and other-worldly. Inspires me to get out in today's drizzle and see what I can see :-) Agree that the blanket of leaves photo is a great one! Interesting that the book you're reading was the one recommended by the massage therapist I saw last week. Hadn't heard of it even though it won the Pulitzer, will have to add it to the list.

  16. Your favorite picture is my favorite too! Looks like a mysterious wonderland. I do not want to, however, be friends with the millipede. All those many legs give me the whim whams. Glad you got to enjoy the walk even in fog and drizzle. No rain down here Tuesday or today. Love you- xxxooo

  17. Hmm, a moody hike something I have not done. Yet you have shown us that a foggy trail brings out a different perspective in your hike.
    The fungus out there are pretty amazing and Im also amazed that they are still in bloom. Most of the fungus we see on our trail here are dried up and done for the summer.

  18. Our campground tenters hate the 6-8pm generator time. I actually like the fog for how quiet it makes the world. And those spider webs and mushrooms are divine.


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