Reported by Iva Gillet
Fourteen adventurous hikers met at the Swift Run Gap entrance for this unusual Saturday hike. Making it especially unusual was that Iva was EARLY for the meet-up, thanks to kayaking earlier in the day with Bill Holman, CJ Woodburn, and Tricia Neumann on the Shenandoah River. Consequently when Dave Borszich arrived early, then Pete and Bev Fink with Emerald Young, and Brian Muszynski arrived early, and John Sinclair, Lynn Murray, and Lars Wehrmeyer were early, Iva was actually there to meet them. We munched on grapes that Bill had provided while Douglass May, Michael Seth, and Norman Beil drove up to complete the group.
We carpooled to the trailhead, with the Park full of activity this evening. Big Meadows was hosting a Full Moon viewing, so many people were there with their lawn chairs, await the moonrise. Meanwhile, we assembled and began our 3 mile hike up Hawksbill along the AT. We were pleased that the weather was clear allowing us views into the Shenandoah Valley. When we arrived at the Hawksbill summit, there were surprisingly few people for such and significant moonrise and unanticipated clear weather. We enjoyed our picnic items, including wine that Brian carried up, and birthday blondies for Tricia’s upcoming annual age increase. Bill had trouble lighting the candles, as the wind was starting to pick up too. We savored the view of the setting red sun with the moon rising in opposition near Old Rag.
We learned that Lars was in America to fill in for a friend’s Tae Kwon Do class and is an apprentice electrician in Germany. Emerald is working hard on her trail maintenance skills and has signed up for a 5 day workshop. Dave took over photography duties this evening, which accounts for the exceptional photos. Norman is nearing the end of his summer in Charlottesville, and will be heading back to NJ for his teaching duties. Pete and Bev will be heading back to the White Mountains in September to hike some rugged mountains. As the darkness and wind increased, our group gradually wound its way down the Lower Hawkbill trail to the cars a mile away. The headlamps were helpful in the dense forest. Everyone had an enjoyable evening without the rain that was forecast and we were glad we had greeted the Super Moon with gusto.