Kurt's Hikes: April & May 2015
All the Rheinheimers and Markwoods gather at the Pogo Campsite on the Maryland Appalachian Trail, May 2, 2015, to commemorate Walter Rheinheimer
Two months behind in hikes recording? Sheesh. Here, for both followers, is hurr'up summary, including the May 2-3 walk to remember a hiker who was out there when canteens were steel and backpacks were canvas:
April 4: The Riverway in Radford. 3 miles
A short walk between games for grandson Aden's traveling baseball team.
April 5: Urban walk from home to Beamer's. 25.5 miles
A satisfying destination.
April 10: Urban walking between Covington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH. 12 miles
With the culmination being the walk to the Madison Theater to see Robert Earl Keen.
April 11: More Covington, KY/Cincinnati, OH, bridge crossings and walks. 8 miles
We crossed all the bridges.
April 19: Urban hike from home to Billy's Restaurant. 5.6 miles
April 26: Appalachian Trail from U.S. 11 in Troutville to Fullhardt Knob Shelter and back. 7.8 miles
Wait, a real hike in the woods? Yes, and complete with three sets of thru-hikers, ranging in character from the retiree walking off the death of his wife to the two young men he characterized as "trust-fund 20-somethings," to the somewhat limited fellow who was truly discovering the trail as he went, walking, as he was, with the most rudimentary map you could imagine.
May 2-3: Up the Thurston Griggs Trail to the Pogo Campsite and back down the next day. 2 miles
Perfect weather, a full moon, great food and fun and a good campfire were the highlights as the whole family (21 of us and my brother Eric) arrived Saturday afternoon and were joined by Virginia Harris and three Mountain Club of Maryland members for a ceremony at the base of the Griggs Trail to honor Walter Rheinheimer, who died on January 2 of this year, at age 98. Walter's longtime companion Virginia read a poem, others spoke and Zhenya played a few classical pieces on her violin. After that, the family set out up the trail to the Pogo Campsite, established in the 1970s after the death of Eric's and my brother in the Potomac River at age 16. We set up camp, spreading out over an upper area of the big campsite, which is strewn with knocked-down trees as a result of the state of Maryland's work along the Appalachian Trail after a hiker was killed by a falling tree earlier in the year. We scattered Walter's ashes at the site honoring his youngest son, along with the ashes of Eric's and my sister, Frederike, who died many years back, and a few of the ashes of Fluff, Eric and Erica's long-time rilly-good dawg. A few of the tiniest members of the family has some trouble adapting to the full-moon light through a tent and did not sleep as well as usual, but overall it was a good stay at the Pogo Campsite, with The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All undertaking that rare instance of sleeping on the ground. Well, "sleeping," to some degree, but spending much of the night tethered to bad-dawg Cookie, who jumped to bark-and-protect at the passing of every moonlight hiker along the AT just below the site.
May 9: Radford Riverway Trail. 3 miles
A pleasant walk-with-lunch between games of grandson Adens baseball tournament.
May 16: Tinker Creek Greenway from Plantation Road to Carvins Cove and back. 5 miles
We supplemented this easy walk with a good paddle in a two-person kayak out across the reservoir for lunch.
May 24: Horsepen Trail and Lake Wrap Trail at Carvins Cove and back. 6 miles
A big big day for The Day Hiker and her dog, as Cookie, age 5 and of course picking an illegal spot for such, swam for the first time in her life--several times out into the water to fetch a stick. This after years of refusing to go into the water any deeper than her legs are long.
May 31: Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail above Roanoke. 5.4 miles
As always, the easiest 5.4 around, enabling us, with our earlier-than-usual start, to avoid the heavy showers predicted for the afternoon.