Monday, May 4, 2015

Newbie in the Woods and Visits from Friends

Our amazing Harrisonburg, VA Trail Angel, trail name Firestarter...has been wanting to get into backpacking.  Mom and I have been honored to be her mentors and help her get started the right way.  Deb, I mean Firestarter, experienced her initiation into the sorority of Appalachian Trail hikers Saturday and Sunday.  We were also thilled and surprised to have our hiking sister Anna, Banana Hammock, join us Saturday and Sunday as well.  We originally met Banana Hammock last year when we were hiking through southern Central Virginia by Dismal Falls.

We met at Big Meadows Wayside and enjoyed a delicious lunch of Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and cole slaw before heading out on our weekend adventure.  Being that is was Firestarters first time, we didn't want to overdo it and scare her off, so Saturday we did an easy 3.8 mile hike from Lewis Falls trail head parking to Big Spring Shelter, spent the night at Big Spring and then hiked out 0.6 miles to Skyline drive Big Spring Hut parking area Sunday morning and had lunch at the Skyland Resort Restaurant.  It was a great weekend and much was learned and fun was had by everyone.

Hendo's Mom, Hendo and Banana Hammock enjoying lunch at Big Meadows Wayside.

Firestarter (Deb) on the AT!!!!  Officially a White Blaze Zombie!!!

Hendo, Banana Hammock and Maddie (Banana Hammock's awesome puppy dog)

Hendo's Mom, Banana Hammock, Maddie and Hendo following the blazes to Franklin Cliffs and the Shelter

Firestarter hiking along the AT towards Franklin Cliffs

On our way along the AT, such a beautiful day!!  Banana Hammock, Hendo and Firestarter, leading the way.

Banana Hammock, Maddie, Hendo, Firestarter...hikers in a row!!

Hendo's Mom and Hendo enjoying the view at Franklin Cliffs

Hendo's Mom and Hendo all smiles on Franklin Cliffs

Hendo and Hendo's Mom "dogs" taking a rest on Franklin Cliffs.  We are loving our EcoSox which are holding up great!!

Banana Hammock and Maddie relaxing on Franklin Cliffs

Banana Hammock and Maddie, all smiles and striking a pose on Franklin Cliffs

Firestarter loving the AT on Franklin Cliffs

Rock Spring Shelter...our stop for the night.

If you look just above the tent, you will see the white tail of a White Tailed Deer.  The deer wandered through approximately 30 feet away, enjoying dinner.

Our tentsites for the night, Firestarter in the foreground and Hendo/Hendo's Mom tent to the back left.  We had a beautiful sunset behind us.

Deb earning her trail name Firestarter.  She did an amazing job and we enjoyed an amazing non-traditional thru-hiker dinner of roasted hot dogs, potatoes and asparagus with s'mores for desert.

An amazing sunet.

Dinner roasting on the fire in foil packets

After a gorgeous sunset we got an amazing moon rise.

We had the pleasure of sharing our amazing evening with some amazing fellow thru-hikers, Attrition, Indy, Freeball, and several others whose names I unfortunately cannot remember.  Thanks to them all for hangin out and adding to our amazing evening.  We apologize to those sleeping in the shelter if we kept you up later than usual!!

Breakfast Sunday morning.  Hendo and Banana Hammock at the picnic table, mom standing in the shelter

Hendo, Firestarter, Hendo's Mom, Banana Hammock and Maddie on our way back to the car Sunday morning!!

Some beautiful flowers we saw along the trail Saturday!!



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