Trip Report: Whale Watching in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Humpback & Three Ridges & the Priest; Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia) (February 17-19, 2023) (40 miles)

“Call me Ishmael.” — Herman Melville, Moby-Dick *********** One month Prior: Bryan (Wolverine) texted me to request that I post a backpacking trip during Presidents’ Day Weekend. “It doesn’t have to be epic,” he wrote. (Ha! He should know me better . . .) ***********One month later: Friday night, February 17, 2023, 11:00 p.m. Afton Mountain,... Continue Reading →

Trip Report: “Shenandoah National Park; Corbin Cabin; Robertson Mountain”; 30 Miles; Jan. 6-8, 2023

The final Corbin Cabin journal entry read: 1.8.23 — This cabin exceeded our expectations! From the Michelin star dining, to the butler turn-down service, to the surprise music appearance of the Eagles, we had no complaints! This was a true luxury camping experience compared to our usual ones—sleeping on the ground outside. —DCUL: Washington, D.C.’s... Continue Reading →

Trip Report (“Hiner Spring Rescue Mission” or “How Many Backpackers Does it Take to Pack Out a Spatula?” Ramsey’s Draft Loop; Dec. 10-11, 2022)

“Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.” Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes) Hiner Spring, a delightful mountain spring in a grove of pine trees, sits on top of the Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness, west of Staunton, Virginia. It is a terrific place... Continue Reading →

Trip Report: “Doing a Chicago” 25 or 6 to 4–into a Hurricane (High Knob to Elliott’s Knob, Va; 60 Miles; Nov. 11-13, 2022)

I almost cancelled this Veteran’s Day Weekend backpacking trip. The pre-trip weather report showed the remnants of Hurricane Nicole crashing into our path at the start of the trip, followed by a gale-force cold front dropping wind chill temperatures to the single digits. Wet and frigid weather is an unwelcome combination for a 60 mile... Continue Reading →

Trip Report: “Living Off the Land” (Shenandoah National Park AT; Front Royal to Swift Run Gap — 60 miles; Oct 8-10, 2022)

Organized within a week of the adventure, this Appalachian Trail hike through the North and Central regions of the Shenandoahs had us living like pioneers. We lived off the land. We skirted sheriffs taking down alleged bad guys. We reenacted classic slapstick comedy. Of course, we also walked and walked. All this action begs one... Continue Reading →

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