Thursday–June 17, 2021
Location–Wildcat Ridge Parking, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, then to Wyndham Resorts Days Inn, Waynesboro, AT Mile 878.7
Still had the alarm set for five this morning. The drive to get me on trail now takes only minutes rather than an hour-plus, but it’s nice to have a bit of leisure time in the morning, so we’ve stuck with five. A great cup of coffee, so why not two? A healthy helping of oatmeal and I’m good. Safari has me back to I-64 overpass where I ended my hike yesterday. Steady Eddie’s wife, Tracy, has come to support him for a few days and drops him off. He’ll resume his hike here too.
A permit is required for hikers entering Shenandoah National Park. There’s a sign-in register a short way into the Park and I stop and fill in a form. There’s no charge for the permit.
I’d figured on slow going to start the day, more rocks and boulders. I had that right. A couple miles and the trail moves past the cobby sidehill and settles into more friendly tread.
The trail crosses Skyline Drive at Beagle Gap in a lovely meadow, about halfway for the day. Safari comes up and brings me lunch and a chilled-down Gatorade–and we lounge in the shade of an old oak. Thanks Safari!
The remainder of the day is spent in total enjoyment hiking the groomed and manicured trail. At Wildcat Ridge the trail crosses Skyline Drive. From there it’s a couple-tenths by trail (or road) to the parking area at Wildcat Ridge. I’m still working on renewing my delinquent hiker trash membership, so I hike Skyline Drive, the roadway up to parking.
Back to Days Inn, and after a good hot soaking in the bathtub to sooth my creaking old bones, Safari drives us to downtown Waynesboro for supper, local family-owned Wheezie’s Kitchen. And last, a quick drive through Wendy’s for their chocolate frost–to cap a perfect day!
O gift of God! O perfect day:
Whereon shall no man work, but play;
Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)