The morning was foggy and cool at the Big Meadows Lodge. My parents and I made our way to the restaurant for breakfast on the terrace. I wasn’t too hungry. I had lost my hiker hunger in the last 2 weeks at home. We packed up our things and checked out. We made a stop at the visitors center on our way out. I learned that the Skyline Drive replaced the original Appalachian Trail around 1939. Also the residents of the Shenandoahs were forced knives out of there homes to make way for the leisure road after a study was conducted that inaccurately portrayed their way of life. The Park was also segregated up until 1950. A separate campground for people of color was built at Lewis Mountain.
After about 30 minutes at the visitors center we drove down to Loft Mountain Wayside for lunch which wasn’t very good. We made our way up to the campground to stash my pack as I hiked back with only a day pack. The attendeant there told to ask the 2 hikers at the tenting spots if I could join them. It turned out to be Somewhere and a hiker named Debzepplin. I was happy to see Somewhere and they agreed to let me camp with them. By then in was 2:30 and so I abandoned my original plan of 8 miles and had my parents drop me off 5 miles south of the campground. I jumped out of the car at the trail crossing and waved goodbye to my parents. It was an uneventful and short hike. In the Shenandoahs there are neat stone pillars with trail info on it.
I arrived back at the campground about 4:30 and set up my tent. I ventured out to the camp store for a shower and some cheese. I returned to my tent about 6:30 and cooked dinner. Somewhere and Debzepplin were already in bed.
Miles: 886.4 – 891.8 (5.4)