Crozet Trails - Lickinghole Basin - January 6, 2018

Ready, get set, go!  January 6 was frigid cold with temperatures at 15 degrees when a group of 9 hikers met at 9:30 am at Western Ridge Club House in Crozet for a 6.3 mile hike.  Everyone was bundled in layered clothes, mittens, neck warmers, and winter boots.  Hike leader, Marit Anderson, quickly described the route and details so the group could start moving right away.  Once we did, the blood started flowing, and it actually turned out to be a most enjoyable morning.  The trail was an out and back from Western Ridge subdivision to Lickinghole Basin to Claudius Crozet Park and back.  We skirted by Westhall and Foothills Crossing subdivisions as well, but we had lots of privacy in the wooded trails and along the frozen waterway of Lickinghole Basin and Lickinghole Creek.  The highlights included multiple sightings of a blue heron, the view of a large eagle's nest, and the wondrous sounds of the pinging water flowing under the frozen pond.  The trail was mostly flat so we had a good pace going and when we reached the halfway point at Claudius Crozet Park we munched on homemade toffee bars and sipped warm tea on benches near the dog park. The intrepid winter warriors included Jeanne Densmore, Sunny Choi, Jeanne Siler, Nancy Handley, John Brandt, Mark Perschel, and newcomers Peggy Byrd and Frank Cain with Canine Companion in training - Darryl the wonder dog. Marit wants to send out special thanks to Claire Cline for showing her some of the new trails in Crozet earlier that week.  It proved to be a great winter valley hike when it is too cold and icy to get up in the mountains.
Lickinghole Basin

A blue heron up ahead... then into flight

Darryl was in dog heaven today with the Charlottesville PATC
submitted by Marit Anderson


Solstice Eve Hike: Allbright Loop, AT and Humpback Rocks - December 20, 2017

submitted by Barbara Martin

On the eve of the winter solstice, December 20, hike leader, Barbara Martin met Sunny Choi, Jeff Stafford and Alda Pinheiro at the King Popcorn Stand to embark on a circuit hike using the Albright Loop Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the blue blazed trail from Humpback Rock down to the parking lot.  It was great to meet new hikers, especially Alda who is visiting this country from Brasilia, Brazil.  It was windy and cold in the parking lot, but we soon warmed up as we hiked into the woods.  The planned hike had been to use the portion of the Albright Loop Trail that branches off to the right, but this was closed, so we proceeded along the other longer branch of the trail.  This lengthened our hike a bit, but everyone was OK with that.  We reached the AT and headed south. Sunny, Jeff and Alda  had never seen the Glass Hollow Overlook and were delighted with the view.  We stopped here and Barbara shared chocolate chip cookies with everyone.  We went back to the AT and hiked south toward Humpback Rock.  Just as we passed the short .3 mile trail that goes back to the parking lot, Alda turned her ankle badly on the leaf-covered rocks.  We all decided to return to the parking lot and pitched in to help Alda make her way back to the car.  Despite the injury, we all had a great time.  Barbara especially enjoyed hearing Sunny's yodeling and singing old show tunes together on the trail.

Big Run Loop - December 16, 2017

The Twelve-plus-two PATC Hikers of Christmas Week

On the 16th Day of December, my friends, they gave to me:

1 lovely winter hike
2 PATC chapters
3 Davids 
4 trail options at lunchtime
5.8 sunn-nny miles
6 hikers in front of me
7 hikers in back of me
8 places to see icicles along Big Run
9 Trader Joe’s Minty Stars
10 degrees above freezing
11 colored winter toboggan hats
     (Malcolm and Marian wore fully brimmed hats; Claire wore a baseball cap) 
12,000 (and maybe 12 million!) dry fall leaves along the trail

Saturday, December 16, was a brisk, sun-filled day for 14 hikers who happily escaped the shopping centers and parking lots to enjoy the sights along the Big Run loop in Shenandoah National Park. Hikers hailed from both the Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley PATC chapters, including hike leaders Lynn and Malcolm Cameron, Iva Gillet, Marian Styles, Susanna Williams, John Brandt, Jeanne Siler, David Broderick, David Bennick, David Kanagy, Todd Patrick, Claire Cline, Kate Hoffmeyer, and Michael Groah.  At the higher elevations it looked almost like a white Christmas given the remnants of the previous weekend’s snowfall.

submitted by Jeanne Siler


Trail Work Day: Turk Gap to Crimora Lake Overlook - December 2, 2017

 Thanks for the seven hard working volunteers that showed up for the December 2nd trail maintenance project at Turk Gap.  Co-overseers, Jeff Monroe and Marit Anderson, with assistance from Mark Perschel, designed the work day to create water bars on the Appalachian Trail from Turk Gap to Crimora Lake Overlook.  Unfortunately Marit had a family member needing emergency surgery, so Jeff and Mark demonstrated the process and coordinated the team. Twenty four berm water bars were formed in two hours of intense digging!  Much gratitude to Hunter and Meghan Cloud, Dave Borszich, Christa Neher, and Nancy Handley for their time and effort. At noon cookies were handed out and the group dispersed, except Mark, Dave, Nancy, and Christa hiked up to the top of Turk Summit to enjoy the sunshine and view. Nice day in the Shenandoah National Park.

submitted by Marit Anderson


Three Ridges - November 25, 2017

submitted by Jeff Monroe

Five Hikers opted outside on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, taking the Maupin Field Access Road from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Love Gap, passing the shelter, and climbing to the Hanging Rock Overlook in the Three Ridges Wilderness. Lunch was consumed at the overlook, and then the group returned via their same route. Hike leader Jeff Monroe was joined by Marie Moss, Marian Styles, Debra Fisher, and Arkansas visitor Gary Strakshus for the hike.  Despite nice temps and sunny skies, there were relatively few hikers on the trail.  The group did encounter two fellows with rifles and blaze orange hats on the return, however, and all were glad to be sporting blaze orange as hunting season has begun.