AT – Days 42 & 43 – Shenandoah National Park

DATE:  Nov. 27 to 2820121204-191136.jpg

START:  Stealth site close to Sky Meadows Side Trail, VA

FINISH:  Bearfence Mountain Hut, VA

DISTANCE:  70.9 miles (114.1 km)

DAILY AVERAGE:  35.4 miles (57 km)

TOTAL DISTANCE:  1273.2 miles (2048.6 km)

Shenandoah: The weather on November 27 was ordinary to say the least. Showers, turned to rain which as the thermometer dropped became snow. The following day was a different story. Shenandoah National Park was bathed in sunshine, temps were warmer and the ground was covered in an ethereal blanket of glistening snow. Regular ridge-top vistas and easy terrain made for a mellow, enjoyable day in which the miles flowed easily and the hours flew by.

5 Useful Qualities or Skills for the Aspiring Solo Thru Hiker: It is worth noting that on both the AT and PCT, many, if not most hikers who plan a solo journey, actually end up hiking together with other like-minded souls before even a hundred miles have been covered.

1. Being comfortable in your own company : To some extent this can be learnt or at least improved. Indeed, for many people a thru hike represents a hitherto unknown opportunity to spend a great deal of time alone. For some this is a gift; for others a potential nightmare. For the latter group, it may be worth remembering that ‘stumbling blocks are often just stepping stones in disguise’.

2. Able to handle discomfort and pain stoically: No one else around to hear your moans and groans.

3. Self-Motivated: During the tough times, there is no one to turn to for advice or encouragement.

4. First Aid: If the unexpected occurs and assistance is not at hand, you need to have the skills and training to deal with the situation.

5. Navigation & Routefinding: Not an issue during a regular season hike on the AT; the CDT is a different story. So to is the High Sierra and potentially also northern Washington on the PCT.

Mealpack: I have eaten approximately 600 (that’s not a typo) of these bars over the past 17 months. Nutritious, filling and calorie-laden, if truth be told they probably aren’t the tastiest health/energy bar on the market. That being said I personally quite like the taste and they are great value for money when bought in bulk. The photo below of me with a Mealpack bar is dedicated to thru hiking friends Beardoh, Sweet Pea and The Gambler, all of whom are longtime devotees of Mealpack products (chuckle, chuckle).

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Comments

AT – Days 42 & 43 – Shenandoah National Park — 3 Comments

    • I’m treading a very fine line, mate………and as you well know, I was probably a few biscuits short of a full packet before starting this journey.

      Saludos del filo,

      Swami

  1. “ethereal blanket of glistening snow”: that is a beautiful description. I apologize ahead if I happen to borrow it for my book. You will certainly be listed in my credits of those of memorable attributes.

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