Subject: Haunted Hike
Date: Thursday, May 27, 2004, 11:11 AM
Hey! Before I forget. We arrived in Waynesboro, VA on Wednesday May 26th. (Rockfish Gap). We are very excited to get a visit from Kathleen, who picked us up at the gap to take us to a friends cabin in Wintergreen. Our bodies have been going strong and have not had a day off since Hot Springs (Mid April), so we are enjoying a “ZERO” (no hiking/miles) day today, Thursday. Of course, we had to leave the trail with a bang….. 20-30 minutes before getting to rockfish gap, the thunder rolled in, a nice refreshing rain started, but it didn’t last. It soon turned into this monsoon rainstorm with hurricane like winds. We walked fast to get to the gap. The winds were so strong I couldn’t walk straight and the rain hurt so bad – it felt like hail. Luckily, we knew we would be able to shower and get dry clothes on and sleep in a warm dry bed that night. PHEW!!!!
Ok, so we left Smitty and started hiking on without him, miss having him with us. The backpacks were feeling heavy, we certainly didn’t miss those for the 2 days. That afternoon, we were up on a ridge hiking north, of course. This ridge was kind of desertish. The path was full of pebbles, the trees spread out, the sun beaming on the rocks making it really hot. Sean went up on the ridge a bit higher to see the clouds and what was coming since we were hearing thunder in the distance). Major dark clouds! As he came back down and got closer to me, a step a little to the side of the trail to tell him to go in the lead….The haunted hike began…..The loudest rattle noise ever heard. A RATTLE SNAKE, under the leaves of this small bush on the side of the trail – right by my leg. Sean was about 10 feet back as we heard it and he started yelling “get back get back run back”. I think my face went white, and Sean I think was having heart problems (just kidding). I saw the rattlesnake and ran back. It took a while before we could get by it, but as soon as we did, the winds whipped up and it started to drizzle. So, we ran ahead to get way away from the snake and put our pack covers on our packs. At this time the winds got extremely violent, another hurricane like wind. The trees were sideways. We were both pretty afraid. We continued to walk fast and hope no limbs would come down on us. Got through it and eventually the storm passed. That night, nice evening, we set up our tent and went to bed. Same storm came in again, lightening and thunder, limbs were falling in the distance, heard a tree fall near by. Luckily above us looked like good solid trees. We still were afraid though. The next morning, it was funny, leaves and limbs all around our tent but never on the tent. Man – someone is looking after us. And that is why this 24 hour period was haunted for us.
We have continued to really enjoy the VA mountains. We have crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway many times, what an incredible drive that would be – beautiful!
We have had a lot of thunderstorms/rain this month. As I’m sure all of you have had on the East coast. 18 out of 19 days it rained somewhat with thunder. Not always a bad rain, in fact, most days it was a very refreshing rain. The heat continues, but looks like it will be cooler the next few days.
We have more to look forward to here in VA/MD. Our friend Gregg will be hiking with us starting this Sunday to the following Sunday. And during the week we have family coming out to take us to dinner on Tuesday at Thornton Gap. We hope that many of you can come out and see us on the trail. Again, you don’t have to hike with us, you can just come out and say hello. If not that then we hope to see you in Alexandria at the BBQ.
As we say each day…..”Life is Good!”
Live Life! Be Happy
Sean & Jen