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Looking out over the Shenandoah Valley: Kurt and Gail on the AT toward Cold Mountain, 11/19/16.
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Shadows at play: Kurt and Gail on the Star Trail 11/12/16.
November 5. Home to River Rock climbing to downtown and back. 7 miles
We built our walk around a son, a grandson and a granddaughter taking part in rock climbing competitions at different parts of the day, building in two meals since The Day Hiker is still recovering from shoulder surgery and is not supposed to carry a pack yet.
November 12. Star Trail over Mill Mountain down loop road and back. 7 miles
The first time we’d ever done this version of a local walk, starting at the far side of Mill Mountain, walking up the Star Trail to the Star, then down to Loop Road to lunch at Fork in the Valley, and then back over the mountain. Good miles and you don’t carry your lunch, always a hit with The Day Hiker, especially with the shoulder excuse.
November 19. Old Hotel Trail Appalachian Trail loop. 6.2 miles
Yes, I carried all the food, the water, the changes of clothes . . . which was all perfectly fine because this is one of my favorite hikes in the state; good forest, good views, and of course that mile-long bald on Cold Mountain. Lots and lots of hikers—and one set of hunters—out on a cold day.
November 27. Walks to meals. 7 miles.
With the house at last empty after a long Thanksgiving weekend of the whole family around, we set out for lunch at the Green Goat and then later dinner at Wildflower . . . both good walks to good meals, as if we hadn’t had enough to indulge in over that weekend.