May 21st 2008 2:00 pm
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Monday May 12
There was a steady rain on the tent overnite,and this morning dawned cool and cloudy. The temperature was only 35 degrees----a tad chilly for May,but then again we were up high in the mountains.
Dad and I detoured off of the Appalacian Trail to hike down the Doyle River trail then back up to rejoin the AT (Appalacian Trail) via the Jones Run trail. In SNP mountain streams are referred to interchangably as rivers or runs but they are really just clear mountain streams. There are several waterfalls along the Doyle River---Jones Run circuit and they were all flowing with a good deal of force due to the recent rains. The waterfalls really were quite spectacular!
Ascending the Jones Run trail,I caught a tantalizing scent. I was so eager to track it down that I slipped out of my dogpack and much to Dad`s chagrin took off into the vastness of the woods after it. I never did catch that darn critter and eventually lost interest and tried to retrace my route and find my dad again. After a while,I heard his voice calling me and we met up at the exact spot where I had originally slipped out of my pack.
Rejoining the AT, we hiked over Blackrock----a large boulder field of (you guessed it!) black rocks that sits atop a mountain. Here someone had hidden a geocache and dad used his GPS to locate it. We then set off along the Trayfoot Mt trail which follows a narrow ridge away from Blackrock summit. There were fine views of the forested mountain valleys from up here. We hiked the Trayfoot Mt trail down to a point that dad marked on his GPS as Trayfoot Vista. Coordinates are N 38° 12.011 W 078° 47.440 . There are sweeping views of the Shenandoah valley from this point as well as a fine view of Buzzard Rock.
We camped for night 2 on the Paine Run trail. We found a pleasant clearing near the cool waters of Paine Run to set up the tent. It was necessary to ford the chilly waters of Paine Run in 2 places to get to this campsite. The run was flowing at a good clip due to the recent rains and it made a pleasant gurgling sound outside the tent all throughout the night.
The weather today was cloudy and cool but at least no rain.
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