I leave on Wednesday for Virginia to visit my friend Rebecca. I'm looking forward to the trip because I get to visit her and get to see a part of the U.S. that I've never seen before. I'm also looking forward to escaping my life for a while. There seems to be a confluence of personal issues in my life right now, all of which I can't seem to solve. For part of our trip, we will be backpacking in Shenandoah National Park which straddles the Blue Ridge Mountains. Part of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park, and we plan to backpack some of that, too. I'm hoping our time there will give me an good opportunity to reflect on what's going on and possibly figure out a way to deal with it all.
The plan is to hike a 28-mile loop through the park. If you look at the Old Rag or Whiteoak Canyon maps on the NPS's Shenandoah site, you can see the route. It starts at Corbin Cabin, descends to Nicholson Hollow Trail, then up to Old Rag's summit via the Ridge Trail. After what is described as a "scramble" up Old Rag, the trail descends via the fire road, then goes on to the Whiteoak Canyon and Cedar Run Trails through two gorges and then connects with the Appalachian Trail. Fun, eh? And all that with packs!
Other things we may do in Virginia include visiting Jamestown National Historic Site, which was the first permanent English settlement in North America. We also may get to sail in Chesapeake Bay, if the weather permits. Plus there will be lots of opportunities to chat with my friend and find out about the place she now calls home.
I'm hoping to post some blog entries and pictures when I'm not hiding in the mountains, so check back if you can.