Kaylor Knob Massanutten - August 22, 2015

     Bev and Pete Fink, Samara Khalique, Iva Gillet, Emerald Young, Katherine Maus and Lee Wenzler from Roanoke joined hike leader Michael Seth on this short hike up Second Mountain in Massanutten. Iva shepherded the folks for Charlottesville and met Michael near the trailhead on Cub Run Road. The weather was excellent- sunny, low 80s but with low humidity, clear air and gentle breezes. Hikers were asked to bring loppers and clippers for a little maintenance but since Michael with a couple friends had recently worked on the trail there was little to do so we just hiked. We climbed the two miles and 1200 feet up Second Mountain without pausing and had lunch at the top.  The trail is notorious for rattlesnakes but we did encounter one nor any other wildlife other than gnats by the cars.  Unfortunately the beautiful yellow fringed orchids that were blooming just several weeks earlier were gone.  Bev and Samara made it up the mountain first.  Bev spotted one of the two original CCC stone trail markers, no one saw the other which was probably obscured by vegetation.  When we arrived at the top there was a little metal box containing a woman’s ashes with a glass candle holder next to it.  We sat at a clump of rocks near the summit and had lunch.  While at Kaylor Knob we encountered a few hikers from the Massanutten Resort taking the trail from Dell Webb Drive, otherwise we had the mountain to ourselves.  Pete and Bev led the march down. We then took a short side trip to the Boone Run Shelter were we sat for a bit, then hiked back to our cars.  No seemed in the mood for a swim although a couple folks went down the short path to check it out.  In total we hiked a modest six miles for the day.


Swinging Bridge to Harpers Creek Shelter - August 15, 2015

Grace and CJ with Karen and Gus in the background

The Tye River

Hot and humid August day....the best hike for that would be short and somewhere to soak.  That was the plan for August 15 with a trek on the Appalachian Trail north from Swinging Bridge on Rt. 56 up through the Three Ridges Wilderness to the Harpers Creek Shelter.  Up, up, up and down, down, down on the return trip with 5.5 miles total and an elevation gain and loss of 1,598 ft.  Lunch and chocolate chip cookies were enjoyed overlooking the fairly dry Harpers Creek near the shelter.  On the return leg we took the secret path to the deeper part of the Tye River and everyone dipped their feet in at least...some even took a plunge in the refreshing, cool water. Gus the dog splashed his toes in....a good reward after a sweaty hike. The clan included Grace Nui, CJ Woodburn, David Crowe, Anne Colgate, Karen Rockwell and Gus, John Waits, Rich Bard, Iva Gillet, Bill Holman, Ginny Barber, and Marit Anderson (hike leader).  Three other hikers had planned to meet us, but were diverted.  Missed you!
CJ, David, John, Karen, and Gus near the shelter for lunch
Harpers Creek -pretty dry this time of year

Iva - we love all that you do for PATC
Marit and Grace - time to hit the water

Bill is acting goofy!  He found himself a comfy shady spot.

Karen and John were the first in the river

submitted by Marit Anderson


Hazel River- White Rocks Trail - August 11, 2015

At the White Rocks - Dave, Irene, Kelly, Michael, and Lynn in front with Anne, Pete, and Bev in the back
     We lucked out on a day that had looked like rain as it ended up being bright and right for hiking.  Nine hikers ventured north to the Shenandoah National Park, although we came into the park from the valley trailhead at Rt. 600 near Sperryville.  Our 10.46 mile route encompassed a loop starting from the Hazel River Trail, to White Rocks Trail, connecting to the Catlett Spur and Catlett Mountain Trail, and returning to the parking area via the Sam's Ridge Trail. Hikers included Dave Borszich, Anne Colgate, Irene Burke, Kelly O'Rourke, Michael Seth, Lynn Dawson (newcomer and pilot extraordinaire), Bev Fink, and hike leaders, Pete Fink and Marit Anderson. The route provided plenty of exertion with 2,700 ft elevation gain, although Marit and Kelly had different GPS data....we are going with Marit's GAIA figures, as she was the hike leader!  The scenery was also wonderful including the beautiful Hazel River and waterfalls, a cool cave, colorful butterflies, interesting flora, some views atop Hazel Mountain, and enough ups and downs to keep us watching our footing.  We also had six fun river crossings...many resorted to just walking through the water since it is so much easier and lovely during warm weather. We finished up after 6 hours of walking and all agreed that it was a fine hike indeed.
Dave and Kelly keep their feet dry this time

Lynn and Marit hold up the rocks at the cave entrance

Michael and Marit can't resist a swim at the falls

Hazel River Falls

Red Indian pipe stems

Dave admires the lovely Hazel River

The view from the top of Hazel Mountain

Some of the beautiful beings we encountered

submitted by Marit Anderson


White Rock Falls/Sherando Lake - August 8, 2015

submitted by Barbara Martin

     We had a gorgeous day for a hike with many wonderful features.  Kelly O'Rourke, Pete and Bev Fink, Marit Anderson, Lindsay Brown and hike leader Barbara Martin hiked up to the beautiful White Rock Falls.  Pete and Marit took the adventurous way straight down down an unmarked trail.  They were waiting for the rest of us asking, "What took you so long?"  At the Slacks Overlook Marit and Lindsay headed back to their cars due to other commitments.  The rest of us continued down the Slacks trail to Torry Ridge Trail, which offered some very nice views.  By way of several steep rocky trails we wound our way down to Sherando Lake.  After walking about a mile through the Sherando recreation area we climbed back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on the White Rock Gap trail, which follows a lovely stream.  A good time was had by all.

Greet the Full Moon Hike - August 1, 2015

submitted by Iva Gillet

     It was a special night, one night after the 2015 Blue Moon, with sunset and moonrise just 40 minutes apart.  Twenty two adventurers headed a mile south on the AT from Beagle Gap to the communication towers on Bear’s Den Mountain in order to take in this late summer spectacle.
     We had several new hikers with us this time: Cindy Shuffield, Nancy Handly, Kathy and Ed Allenby, Nick Liacopoulos. Natalie Siler, and Sean Bias.  The Charlottesville PATC hiking gold star of the day went to CJ Woodburn and David Crowe who participated in both chapter hikes this day!  The rest were veteran and erratic attendees: Marian Styles, John Shannon, Jeanne Siler, Neil McKinney, Debra Fisher, Ginny Barber, Emerald Young, Lisa and Kyle Lampe and Max, Rich Bard, Brian Muszynski, and Mary Craig.
     To entertain ourselves in the dusk before the moon rose, we managed to consume a wide range of shared food offerings - cinnamon bread, cookies, grapes, cheese, and John’s antioxidant bread.  Brian also provided summer sky constellation tutorials.  The big, red moon rose and then hid behind a cloud before re-emerging blue-white.  Most of us descended about 10pm along the fire road illuminated by the bright moon.  A nice way to welcome August!