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Thread: Shenandoah

  1. #1
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    Default Shenandoah

    Just spent a great week in the Park, a few quick thoughts:

    *No water problems, all shelters (or Huts) were fine, tho a few were down a
    bit.

    *Food re-supply at camp stores OK but not spectacular. Also some pretty
    crazy pricing......Lipton's for $2.09 I can understand, but a pound of
    spaghetti for $3.19? The prudent hiker might want to bring most of their
    DINNERS from Waynesboro and rely on the campstores for snacks, fill-ins,
    etc.

    *Very nice folks at Skyland restaurant this year, and they still serve a great
    breakfast.

    *Most notable thing this week was that EVERYONE was finding ticks, and I
    mean LOTS of the little buggers. Bring DEET, preferably the 100% variety.

    *Oh, and the roof at Tom Floyd Wayside leaks. Likewise, the site maps at
    the access paths need to be replaced so folks know where the water is at
    the shelter. Met a few VERY pissed off hikers who needlessly hiked some-
    thing like .4 to get water because they didn't know the most convenient
    way to get there. Replacing these maps would seem to be simple.......why
    is it that the PATC has some shelters that look they cost 30,000 bucks, and
    others that look like nobody's put 30 cents into them since they were built?
    A little consistency would be good to see.

    *That being said, the nicest place we stayed (by far) was Pass Mt. Hut.
    Especially liked the pine-needle tentsites. Many thanx to Whiteblaze's
    Skyline who is one of the caretakers here. Nice work!!

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    What about the ice cream? I love the ice cream there...

  3. #3
    Registered User Shiraz-mataz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    *That being said, the nicest place we stayed (by far) was Pass Mt. Hut.
    Especially liked the pine-needle tentsites. Many thanx to Whiteblaze's
    Skyline who is one of the caretakers here. Nice work!!
    Amen, brother! We overnighted there last month. It was idealic with the grassy field and the little stream running through camp.
    “The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.” Walt Whitman

  4. #4

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    Any idea of the hours at the Loft Mt. campground store Jack (or anyone else reading), not the wayside? And is there any beer available in the store?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Any idea of the hours at the Loft Mt. campground store Jack (or anyone else reading), not the wayside? And
    I was there 2 weeks ago and I believe that their summer hours are until at least 7. I think they open at 8. The Park website only lists the dates of their season, not the operating hours.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    I was there 2 weeks ago and I believe that their summer hours are until at least 7. I think they open at 8. The Park website only lists the dates of their season, not the operating hours.
    Yeah I too didn't see any hours listed. Does the wayside close at 5:00 p.m.? I saw it listed somewhere for that time. We're pulling a 20 into the campground on a Sunday.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  7. #7
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    Sorry I missed Pass Mtn. Hut -- I was in the mood to make miles that day and it was just too early in the day to quit. (I found a gorgeous campsite atop Mary's Rock, a few miles south.) Agree about the meals at Skyland -- mine was a lunch, but it was a very pleasant experience nonetheless. Except for the tourons and the noise of the parkway (it was Labor Day weekend ), SNP was pretty dreamy. Good eats, easy hiking, big miles, great views.

  8. #8
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    Except for the tourons?

    You mean the people in cars for whom the Park was designed?

  9. #9
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    Let's just say, SNP is one of those places where long-distance hikers get to mingle with mortal folk.

  10. #10
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    Except for the tourons?

    You mean the people in cars for whom the Park was designed?
    You mean those people driving on the road that usurped the trail through these mountains -- destroying one of the great walks through hills in the east. A destruction so great that the founder of the Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye, abandoned the trail for a decade or more.

  11. #11
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    *That being said, the nicest place we stayed (by far) was Pass Mt. Hut. Especially liked the pine-needle tentsites. Many thanx to Whiteblaze's
    Skyline who is one of the caretakers here. Nice work!!

    Thanks Jack. Sorry we didn't cross paths this year. I haven't been able to get up to PMH as much as previous years due to other commitments. The grass needs cut, I'm sure, plus regular maintenance. Coincidentally, we hope to get up there tonight. But we've been saying that for a week.

    The tentsites to the "west" were rehabbed a few years ago (made larger, flatter, more user-friendly, some given trenching or rocks to inhibit erosion) but the pine needles were just an after-thought to deal with the muddy conditions that were left after rehabbing. New needles now get added to the surface once or twice per year, and are the first thing people seem to comment about. Thought about sawdust or straw, but the needles are native to the Park and are easily available.

    The sites to the "east" are in a flat, grassy open area and don't require much in the way of maintenance. It's where we usually try to direct larger groups if any are in for the night. We did build a new pathway about three years ago to eliminate walking in much of the swamp that hikers used to have to hike through to get to those sites.

  12. #12
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    From the history as I understood it, Skyline Drive pretty much broke Benton's heart. OTOH, it was the trigger for the creation of The Wilderness Society (MacKaye, Aldo Leopold, Ed Zahniser, et. al.)

  13. #13
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    You mean those people driving on the road that usurped the trail through these mountains -- destroying one of the great walks through hills in the east. A destruction so great that the founder of the Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye, abandoned the trail for a decade or more.

    If it wasn't for Skyline Drive and the resulting tourist amenities (overlooks, lodges, restaurants, etc.), it is doubtful that the wheels would have been put in motion—or succeeded—to create the Park in the '20s/'30s.

    It's a tradeoff. Without it, undoubtedly today the land that now comprises the Park would be littered with high-dollar homes with views, condos, maybe a ski resort or two instead of the mostly-pristine forests we now have.

    I know parts of the AT are routed a bit close to the Drive (sometimes crossing the Drive) for some folks' sensibilities, but those parts usually are over with in a few minutes of walking. The only real irritant to me are the loud motorcycles, which are becoming more numerous. I'm out of my element here, but isn't there a way that motorcycles' "noise" can be toned down? If so, wouldn't this be a good standard for the Park to adopt for driving on Skyline Drive? I mean, if someone had a defective, loud muffler on their auto wouldn't they address this?

    Beyond the AT, there are about 400 miles of side trails that IMHO are the real gems of SNP. It is indeed possible to get away from the development which is Skyline Drive and the lodges/campgrounds, and enjoy the wilderness. Big W or little w.

  14. #14

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    I waded through the park's phone system. The hours given were 8-7 M-Th, 8-8 F-Sun for both the campstore and the wayside at Loft Mountain. I think these are the summer hours. They do sell beer and wine.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  15. #15

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    I've been coming to SNP for years and the existence of Skyline Drive and the occasional hordes of tourists rarely bother me - as Skyline said, the noise of the motorcycles is probably the most annoying factor along with loud music in the campgrounds. But it's mostly compressed into the summer months. Fall (except for weekends) and early Spring are ideal times to hike the Park and in winter, the Park literally shuts down all facilities.

    I was in the Southern District 2 weeks ago working on my section (over HighTop Mountain) and was struck by how few people and cars there were at the Loft Mt. campground and wayside. Yes, schools weren't out yet but still it was June. Nearly everyone I met were thrus. or long-distance section hikers.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    ...
    I was in the Southern District 2 weeks ago working on my section (over HighTop Mountain) and was struck by how few people and cars there were at the Loft Mt. campground and wayside. Yes, schools weren't out yet but still it was June. Nearly everyone I met were thrus. or long-distance section hikers.
    Loft Mountain Campground is pretty heavily booked for the last weekend in June, although there does appear to be a majority of non-reserveable sites.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    I'm out of my element here, but isn't there a way that motorcycles' "noise" can be toned down? If so, wouldn't this be a good standard for the Park to adopt for driving on Skyline Drive? I mean, if someone had a defective, loud muffler on their auto wouldn't they address this?

    With a motorcycle, noise is a feature, not a bug.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by _terrapin_ View Post
    With a motorcycle, noise is a feature, not a bug.
    That's kind of true, since there are some really quiet motorcycles, such as the BMWs...

  19. #19
    jersey joe jersey joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    That's kind of true, since there are some really quiet motorcycles, such as the BMWs...
    At least motorcycles spew less pollution and get better milage on average than cars.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jersey joe View Post
    At least motorcycles spew less pollution and get better milage on average than cars.
    How 'bout noise pollution?

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