Thursday–June 24, 2021
Trail Mile–-15.7/1,397.1 (corrected)
Location–Fiery Run Road, Front Royal, then to VRBO, Luray, AT Mile 978.4
The vacation rental by owner (VRBO) near Luray, which Chris Kent and his family have rented, is a lovely home near South Fork, Shenandoah River. Very spacious, kitchen w/bar, dining area, a large living room, three bedrooms, bath-and-a-half, plus a full-size indoor Jacuzzi. This will be my second night here as their guest. So very nice! Entree last evening, grilled chicken by Chris. Dessert, ice cream of course!
This morning, Chris prepares breakfast, bacon, eggs, pancakes. Way too much. Hey, I brewed the coffee!
It’s a fair distance back up Skyline Drive, but Chris gets me out and hiking by seven-thirty.
Another day of much climbing, but delightful tread, even on the ups. The quiet of the woods is always welcome, and I never take the joy of it for granted. I’m reminded of that this morning as the trail is apparently right under the flight lanes for Reagan National and Dulles International Airports. There seemed no letup in the constant decelerating whine of the jet engines as planes kept coming in all morning. Then there was the grinding and rumbling racket from the 18-wheelers on I-66. There’ll likely be little change tomorrow…
I thought as I sat there this was the quiet we knew in our distant past,
when it was part of our minds and spirits.
We have not forgotten and never will, though the scream and roar of jet engines,
the grinding vibrations of cities, and the constant bombardment of electronic noise
may seem to have blunted our senses forever.
We can live with such clamor, it is true, but we pay a price and do so at our peril.
The loss of quiet in our lives is one of the great tragedies of civilization,
and to have known even for a moment the silence of the wilderness
is one of our most precious memories.