The story below is an excerpt from our May/June 2014 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, view our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app!
Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness
The Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness provides a sampler of the ruggedness and the views.
Our first visit to an officially designated Wilderness Area was soon after a hurricane remnant had passed through the western side of Virginia. As a result, the wilderness’s namesake river, Ramsey’s Draft, seemed to have had its way with the terrain surrounding its flow.
The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All will outwalk me on most any trail there is – up the mountain, along the ridge, through a valley – but one of the points of a wilderness is that there are no designated, blazed trails. Especially after a flood has washed out most of the pathways inevitably worn by hikers.
And while The Day Hiker does not cotton to a vaguely marked trail, she downright hates bushwhacking. And bushwhacking with multiple stream crossings over logs? Over rocks with water rushing by? And with no real sense of where you’re going, aside from upstream?
Well, it’s a battle to keep her going.