Now that all the graduation parties and b-day parties are over I finally had time to post about our trip.
It was my son Kevin's 1st overnight on the AT, so I picked Shenandoah b/c of the good views and easy treadway. My buddy Jack joined us, along with his son Connor. We did an easy out and back from Elkwallow to Gravel Springs hut.
Saturday was overcast and humid, and I must say I felt like I had been in a swimming pool by the time we reached GS hut. If it weren't for the breeze it would have been pretty bad. As it was the trail was easy and the boys were having fun (the dads too).
While we were taking a break at the 4th peak of Hogback I heard a rock turn over ahead on the trail and went to investigate. Just as I suspected, a very large bear about 75 feet away. Man was I stoked, since this was my 1st bear in 20 years of sectioning the AT! That really made my day.
Later, as we descended the switchbacks approaching Hogback overlook the 2 boys poured it on, leaving the "old heads" behind. Ahh, to be 9 again (actually just to have that kind of energy again).
Eventually we made our way to GS hut and since the tentsites were full, the hut was barely occupied and it was going to thunderstorm later we decided to sleep in the shelter. June 13 was Kevin's birthday and my wife was gracious enough to let me take him hiking. After dinner all the hikers in attendance sang Happy Birthday to Kevin and shared in the mini brownie cupcakes I brought for everyone.
The rain rolled through (I love the sound of rain on a tin roof) with a little lightning and thunder, and eventually the rained ended around 3am I think. Anyhow Sunday was clear, with no humidity. Our trip back was some of the nicest hiking I could have asked for. Nice temps, and a comfortable breeze. I paid the boys back on the climb up the switchbacks on Hogback, since I actually enjoy climbing instead of going downhill. Showed 'em the old man ain't dead yet!
Anyway, we had a great time and the Blackberry milkshakes at Elkwallow were awesome.
Here's the link to my trip video: