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[at-l] Shenadoah hike report

To celebrate having the list back, I thought I would share yesterdays hike
with the only people who might understand how I feel (the people I work
with think I'm crazy to hike at all, much less a hike like yesterdays!)  We
had a terrific hike yesterday - longer and hotter than planned or expected,
but really good. We decided to go to the Shenandoahs, because we hoped it
would be a little cooler up at 3700' than the 90+ forecast for Maryland.
It wasn't, or at least, not much.  Looking at the map, there was an area we
hadn't explored yet - it is called the Hazel River country - a place that
used to be full of farms and fields, and now has only a few old stone walls
left to remind of those who lived here before.  (Except the Corbin cabin -
which was restored, and is now rented out by the PATC.) We climbed up the
Nicholson Hollow Trail along a stream. (It used to be a BAD place, full of
moonshiners and wary farmers.) Climbing past the cabin, we ran into a group
that was struggling mightily to do the two miles from the Cabin to the
parkway.  "I'm gonna die," one woman panted, as she hiked topless up the
trail. "Never again!" said another.  At the top we met the rest of their
group, great grandma, who used to live in the Corbin cabin, until the
family was moved out.  They had gone down to the cabin to scatter the ashes
of a son who died and wanted to be buried at the old homestead - though he
himself had never lived there.  It was so odd to meet history, face to
face.  I have often wondered about those that were forced to leave.  She
said that her daddy and brothers helped to build Skyline drive, and her
father later worked as a ranger at the lookout tower.  I wonder how he felt
about that?  Could you work for those who stole your land?  If it is the
only hope of feeding your family?

As we continued our walk, we hiked on the AT over the Pinnacle for a few
easy miles, with lots of hazy views.  The sun was bright and hot, and we
drank a lot of water. I got so hot at one point I started to get goosebumps
(I know, I'm strange) - but then we sat down and ate and drank a bunch and
I felt fine. We ran into a family reunion at the Pinnacles picnic ground,
complete with its own blue-grass band.  Quite good, actually.  It was an
informal group of musicians - family members I think.  It reminded me of
sitting on the porch in Bastian on Sunday afternoon, listing to Levy Long
and his friends jamming away.  (They had so much fun - it was a treat to
watch them.)  Anyhow, if I'd been a thruhiker I might have sat down a
while, and tried to yogi some goodies, but as a mere dayhiker, we had miles
to go, so on we went.  Went down the Spring trail, past a nice old chimney,
across the drive, then down Hazel Mountain Trail, an easy old woods road in
hemlock and oak forest.  We saw a deer and had a bare glimpse of a black
bear, running as hard as he could.  The Hot-Short Mountain Trail was next,
an easy traverse between two knobs, and finally we descended the Nicholson
Hollow Trail again to our car.   Because there are so many trails, and you
do part of one and part of another, I only had a vague idea before we
started how far we were going to go.  I knew it was longer than we were
used to, but I was in the mood for a challenge, and besides, the last half
was downhill all the way, right?  (All trails are uphill both ways, even
the downhill trails!)  So when we got home, we wrote it all out and
realized that we had hiked almost 19 miles (18.9) with a 3000+ climb in
there.  All of a sudden I was very tired!  But I was still happy.  It was a
good day!
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