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KenandNancy - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2017

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Ken & Nancy
Begins: Apr 4, 2017
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jun 13th, 2017

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 238
Journal Visits: 3,667
Guestbook Views: 203
Guestbook Entrys: 32

Appalachian Trail Map

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The rocks we have to scramble over

Mile 970- Front Royal, VA

We left Waynesboro and entered Shenandoah national park. The trail crosses Skyline Drive at least 30 times and because of the frequent crossings was in much better shape-anytime the trail is close to a parking area that the general day hikers have access to they groom it for them-removing rocks and clearing the brush to make it wider and smoother. It's super frustrating to see how well the trail can be maintained in comparison to the way it really is. We took advantage of the proximity to the road and the access to the wayside diners in the park. We would walk out to the road to where the diner was and depending on the time of day have breakfast or lunch-we especially enjoyed the park specialty-blackberry milkshakes! The Shenandoah section overall, was a disappointment, as the trail stayed in the green tunnel of trees. We didn't get to have very many views (mostly powerline crossings), didn't go into the famous Shenandoah valley, didn't see any of the old cabin ruins, lakes or waterfalls. It's really sad, as all the other "world's great trails" boast beautiful scenery etc. The Appalachian trail has so much potential--it goes thru areas that are scenic and have lots of historical significance, but it doesn't go into those areas. It's the equivalent of taking a tour of New York City without ever leaving the subway. We did finally get to see a bear--actually 2 bears --on 2 different mornings. Both of them were smaller, both times they were standing just off the side of the trail pawing thru the dead leaves on the ground foraging for food. We talked to them as we approached and both times they continued to forage while we took pictures of them and watched them for about 20 minutes. It was definitely the highlight of the segment! As we traversed the park we noticed that the number of hikers were diminishing--some of our friends are leaving the trail to take some time off while others are spending time with family and friends while others are doing off trail activities such as canoeing. The general consensus amongst the people we've talked to is that they are feeling that they aren't getting out of the trail experience what they had hoped for and are taking time to evaluate options. We can definitely relate and are questioning our own experience daily as to whether it is truly worthwhile. We are heading towards Harpers Ferry and the 1000 mile mark next.

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Journal Photo

Appalachian Trail 2017

Ken & Nancy

 

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