At one of the trail markers
I got to spend three days this week with three of my favorite people in one of my favorite places. I spent three days hiking and camping the lower section of the AT (Appalachian Trail) in the Shenandoah National Park with my three oldest (Hannah, Lydia, and Sam). We covered about 30 miles, setting in North of Loft Mountain and hiking South on the AT to Rockfish Gap.
I did my first AT hike the summer after my freshman year of college. Then, the summer after I graduated from college I spent ten weeks leading group trips for the North Carolina ministry "Christian High Adventure." This time out, I was soon reminded that my body is not in the same shape it was 30 years ago. The kids had to do a lot of waiting for the old man to catch up from the rear. Interesting how the relationship changes as the years go by. God has blessed me with amazing children beyond what I might have asked or imagined. The terrain we covered pushed us to our physical limits with steep ascents, but it also rewarded with breathtaking views. I was also reminded of the value of water as we made it through the long dry patch between the spring at the Black Rock Hut and the stream at Jarman's Gap.
Here are a few more scenes from our outing:
Getting our gear together at home before setting out
From Loft Mountain
On the trail
A friend passed on the trail (we also saw deer and a bear!)
At Black Rock Summit
Reading and resting break near Jarman's Gap
Under nature's canopy
Open country near Beagle's Gap
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