6, 1983 Wednesday (1219.7 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
night proved to be my last night in the Shenandoah National Park.
The trails were well maintained, and the miles went by quickly with
little effort. I found it to be a pleasant experience. Just over
eight miles of easy trail this morning and I reached the northern
end of the Shenandoah National Park. Not today, but soon I would
be through the whole state of Virginia, all five hundred plus miles
over a mile past the park boundary was the Tom Floyd Wayside, the
only shelter with the term "Wayside" applied instead of
shelter or lean-to. Must be something special. I had to stop just
to check it out. It had a patio, and it's own gold leafed, hard-bound
shelter register. Fancy that. Took a short break at the wayside
and spent time reading the register. Tom Carmichael was there also.
As we both finished our breaks, I decided to hike in front of Tom,
and soon found myself well out of sight of him. Off across a grassy
field I saw a large swimming pool in an area known as Harmony Acres,
a sub division of some kind. I thought it would be nice it would
be to have a swim about now. Soon after, I hiked along the edge
of the National Zoological Park - Conservation and Research Center.
The sign on the fence was humorous: "Stay on Trail
Violators will be eaten!" I saw a few non-native animals
off in the distance like gazelles or something from Africa as I
made my way along the property, but no meat eaters to speak of.
The biggest threat that the park imposed at the time was tall grass
containing ticks. Although there were warnings as we approached
the area written in shelters, or as notes in ziplock plastic bags
tacked to trees, I did not have much of a problem with ticks. Regardless,
I did check myself thoroughly.
there the trail went up and down a bit and then along the crest
of what I named "forever ridge" after US 522. A short
roadwalk lead into the small town of Linden, Virginia in Manassas
Gap. For a one dog town, it had all that I needed, which included
a post office, and a store to purchase a few groceries. I received
a post card from AmyZalisko, a fellow zoology major from College.
While there, I wrote a few post cards and mailed them along with
the few that I had written at Gravel Springs Hut. I cooled down
in the afternoon heat with the help of a pint of butter pecan ice
cream, and an orange soda, perhaps an Orange Crush in recognition
of Jim's Appalachian Trail effort. Since the shelter that I intended
to locate myself at this evening was only three and a half miles
up the trail, I bought a few things for the evening including some
cookies, and candy bars.
about got lost on the way up to the shelter, but fortunately managed
to find my way. Along the way I encountered about 7-8 PATC (Potomac
Appalachian Trail Club) members checking out the trail in the area.
Maybe they had similar reports of people getting lost in the area
and that was why they were there.
rolled in a couple of hours later and spent the night with me at
Manassas Gap Shelter. Supper tonight consisted of Knorr Asparagus
soup with some extra noodles thrown in to give it some texture and
some workout for my jaws. I ate half of an instant pudding for dessert
and held back the other half for breakfast tomorrow morning. Instant
puddings are great, but the practice of not being able to add fresh
milk makes them not quite as good as at home. Instant milk is sometimes
added, but still the mixture comes out a bit gritty - but mighty
tasty to a hungry hiker.
something from the shelter register this evening as it struck me
that this being my second trip, I was well on my way to fulfilling
his prediction. Written by Francis Parkman, the note describes the
lure of the trail and its effects upon those who may travel upon
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983