Backpacking Shenandoah National Park Part 2

This is the second post in our series. Navigate over to our previous post at Backpacking Shenandoah National Park

My day two and Richard and John's day four started like any other day in the backcountry after a Derecho storm... No shit there we were! No, that's how my military war stories would start off...
We talked about how bad the storm was and what damage could be on the trail ahead of us. Surprisingly there was not much.

Our goal for the morning was to get to the Wayside at Big Meadows where we could get some real food and resupply. While cutting through the picnic area and passing the campground everything seemed to be okay and normal.  But it was not until we got to the wayside that we learned that the storm had knocked out power to the Big Meadows area.

We did find out the Big Meadows Lodge was running off of a generator and they were open. Anytime you have to backtrack your steps, it's a long way... I ended up talking with a Danish couple and was able to procure a ride back to the top of the mountain with them.  

The Danish couple saved us two miles backtracking to Big Meadows Lodge. While we did not get to eat in the lodge we did get some food and drinks from the gift shop. Took the time to sit outside in the sun to let things dry out a bit.

Just a note on the impact of the Derecho storm. While storm damage on the trail was little, it did knock out power to Big Meadows for a week I later found out. The wayside at Big Meadows is an important stop for users of the park and a highlight for any hiker looking for a real meal and supplies.
Now we are on our way to Lewis Mountain Campground where we will stay the night in the campground and not in the backcountry. I don't know why but I felt like this part of the trail took forever. It just could have been that my feet took a pounding the day before and my feet were not happy with me. While I have had my boots for a long time, I had them re-soled in the last year and I believe I am still breaking the new sole in.

Another thing I want to bring up is our trek put us in the park during a time which is called the "through-hikers bubble". It's a time when most through-hikers are making their way through the park. Most everyone we meet on the trail is a through-hiker. We mostly get to know them by their trail names and the names are just as interesting and different as the people themselves. But one thing we keep hearing about is a group of 30 through-hikers known as the "Herd". Most older hikers described the group as a big party. We think we missed that group by about a day.

At Lewis Mountain, we heard about another group of hikers. It was a family of 8 with the youngest kid being 2 and the oldest being 17 years old. I later found out they go by the trail name of the "Crawford Family" and if they finish the AT they will set the record as the biggest family to complete the trail. I don't know what they do about school, but I am sure this adventure will teach them more that will last a lifetime than what they would learn in the classroom in 6 months. To learn more about the Crawford Family's AT adventure check out their YouTube Vblog.

At Lewis Mountain, we were treated to a couple of things like beer, junk food, and a thunderstorm. This thunderstorm sucked as much as the Derecho and for me, it was worst. The rain ran between my ground cloth and the tent floor and the rain blew in the sidewall of the tent just like when you turn your AC on in the car when it is humid. Never seen anything like that before.

Shenandoah National Park

Follow the next post in the field journal at Backpacking Shenandoah National Park Part 3


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