1/9/18

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








1/5/18

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