I had to include a trip on Skyline Drive through Shenandoah on my route back. I visited once on a backpacking trip with the Brown Outing Club 3 years ago and couldn’t wait to see it again. I came to the Southern entrance in the early morning and drove North, stopping for a few short hikes, including one down to the Rapidan Camp, president Hoover’s summertime retreat. Apparently he loved to fly fish in the river here!
Skyline drive is a winding mountain road through the entirety of Shenandoah. There are lookouts with views of mountains and the valley below and plenty of places to stop and have a picnic. It’s a great road to drive slowly (because of what you’re seeing out the window) and fast (because it’s windy, hilly and feels like a rollercoaster through the mountains).
After Shenandoah I drove to the Pinchot trail system in Eastern PA to spend the night in the backcountry. This was my last night camping on the trip, and it ended up being kind of a pain. I didn’t have much food left and settled for an average-tasting chickpea stew dinner (seen here cooking away on the pocket rocket after dark).
It started raining soon after, and I crawled into my hammock for a wet and chilly night where I didn’t sleep much. I remember thinking that I was glad to be heading back to civilization soon – 10 days of being on the road and in the woods alone had taken their toll, and I was looking forward to some comfortable accommodations and good company. Luckily, that was right ahead.
I left PA the next morning and drove through New Haven CT, where my friend Gordon recently started working. We grabbed lunch (mmm turkey and bacon!) and caught up about Life Since Brown. After that, I headed to Boston for a night and back home to Cape Cod!
One final post will sum up my thoughts on this trip overall.