Last month I headed out to Shenandoah National Park while the foliage was at peak.
I led a small group of hikers down the Big Meadows trail, and then up the Appalachian trail and the Hawksbill Summit trail (9 1/2 miles except for those who accidentally missed the turn-off; for them it was 12 miles!).
At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill mountain is the highest point in Shenandoah.
From the summit, had a nice, clear view of the ever-popular Old Rag mountain.
Last weekend, I accompanied my mom on a memorial walk for a friend in her walking club, the American Volksport Association. The walk was in Fredericksburg, and although the drive down was rainy, the weather behaved for us, and the fall colors made a fine showing.
Following a fun day of hiking, spa, dining and s'mores with my friend Lisa, I roamed around Harpers Ferry which was enshrouded in a layer of fog. The colors of fall were starting to peek through but there was still a lot of green.
Grateful for the cooler-than-usual summer, I have been able to get out hiking in the mountains in August, which is unheard of for me. And eager to get my hiking legs back into shape, last weekend I hiked the Tuscarora trail in the George Washington National Forest (nearly 9 miles), and today the Appalachian trail in Shenandoah national park (7 1/2 miles).
It has been over three years since I've been to Shenandoah, and I was very excited to get back there.
This morning, I grabbed my hiking boots, which were still in their plastic bag from last weekend's hike, and put them on at the trailhead near Jenkins gap, just past mile 12 on Skyline Drive. Hmm, something did not feel right. The boots felt roomier than usual. Far too roomy. I examined them and realized that I must've accidentally switched boots after last saturday's hike with a guy in my carpool, who also happened to have charcoal gray Salomon boots. I looked even closer and realized that I was wearing size 11.5 men's boots! 3 sizes too big, I think.
My feet slipped and slid a bit more than was ideal, but I got away with only getting one minor blister on my heel. Luckily a hiker in today's group knew the owner of my boots for the day, and I was able to get in touch and we will implement the exchange later this week.
This did not detract from the enjoyment of being out in the mountains, on a beautiful August afternoon.