We got up bright (kind of) and early to beat some of the predicted 90+ degree heat and 300% humidity of the day. We got hiking a bit before 6:30am, which guarantees that you clear all the spider webs for the other hikers later in the day. We had a few ascents and descents to get out of the park. We had a couple nice views from North and South Marshall mountains.
Marshall mountain view of Skyline Drive
We bid farewell to the park and Skyline Drive after crossing it for the 623rd (perhaps a slight exaggeration). The heat and humidity was really kicking in by the time we descended down to US 522. We hitched a ride in to town from a friendly farmer in the back of his truck. He asked how many bears we saw and how active they were in the park and then told us about how much of a royal pain they are to his livestock and crops. He got a 2 week hunting permit last year he said and he shot 14 of them on his farm. Wow…Mmm…Bear jerky. Continue reading
Today was a lot more of the same as the other days in the park. The morning trails were quite rocky and tough on the feet. We heard and read some things that most of the tread in the park was smooth, but I’d say that’s only about 50% the case. We had a nice view of Skyline Drive from above at Little Stony Man Cliffs in the morning.
The ever present Skyline Drive from Little Stony Man Cliffs
We saw two bears today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These guys are smallish and kind of cute and I might try to cuddle one tomorrow. I don’t know, perhaps that is not a good idea.
Slightly better picture of a bear in Shenandoah
If you want to see bears, come here. That’s 5 we’ve seen in the park in 4 days (plus the one right outside the park). We talked to a thru-hiker at the Wayside today who said he has seen 13 bears in his 4 days in the park. He almost got renamed to “Bear Bait.” Continue reading