After leaving the Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison, Virginia I drove south on U.S. 29 to Charlottesville then west on Interstate 64 to Waynesboro where I spent the night. The next day (Monday, October 26th) the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park beckoned me. The first 20 miles were still quite pretty with brightly colored foliage but further north and in the higher elevations, the trees were nearly bare though there were patches of brilliant yellow here and there.
That notwithstanding, the next several days were spent traipsing through the forest (or perhaps I should say, huffing and puffing) on several trails. The weather was not very cooperative with heavy fog and intermittent rain on Tuesday. It gave me an opportunity to catch up on writing blog posts (but I've fallen behind again – can't believe it's been two weeks already).
I was staying in the Big Meadows Campground, not far from Hawksbill Peak (the highest peak within the park) and hiked to the summit on Wednesday. The rain had stopped during the night and the fog had lifted mid-morning. The trail was just 1.7 miles long with only a 500 foot elevation gain, but it sure felt longer and higher!
Wednesday afternoon, I made a short detour out of the park to Luray to try and track down a church where two of my ancestors served (more about that in a future post) then returned to the park and spent the night at Mathews Arm Campground. It was cloudy on Thursday morning and more rain was in the forecast. I took advantage of the offer made by my Aunt in Silver Spring, Maryland and spent the weekend at her place.