Wednesday–June 16, 2021
Location–Rockfish Gap, North Entrance Blue Ridge Parkway, then to Wyndham Resorts Days Inn, Waynesboro, AT Mile 864.3
Not knowing what to expect today, as to trail difficulty, we stay with the 5:00 AM wake up. Room coffee and microwave breakfast done, Safari drives me the short distance to Dripping Rock Parking and I’m out and hiking before seven-thirty.
I was prepared for more boulders and rocks and here they come first thing, just as I expected, but after a few miles they play out and the tread becomes much more friendly.
Late morning, Safari hikes in on the Humpback Rocks Trail to bring me lunch. The day has turned blue perfect and we enjoy sharing the time together. Dan and Lois from Ohio are traveling the parkway, visiting sites along and they stop to give me encouragement.
Back on trail after lunch (and not twenty minutes later), right in the middle of the trail, a large black bear. Picture time! Then five minutes later, a snake right in the middle of the trail. More picture time!
Four o’clock I reach Rockfish Gap where Safari is waiting patiently.
My hike along and beside the Blue Ridge Parkway is a done deal. Tomorrow I enter Shenandoah National Park, where the trail becomes the stepchild of Skyline Drive. But my memory of the trail from my previous three hikes through the park serves me well–the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoahs is delightful. Can’t wait!
You can be taught so much,
but the sense of anticipation
cannot be taught.