A Day of Cruising

May 8, 2018

Destination: Whiskey Hollow Shelter (Dick’s Dome) Today's Miles: 18.10

Start Location: Tom Floyd Wayside Trip Miles: 986

Typical Shenandoah trail view
It was a good night. It didn’t rain, and mice didn’t walk on my face.

I did wake up in the middle of the night to Day Hiker pausing by my head on his way out of the shelter to pee. It startled me for a second and we laughed about it in the morning, joking that I had woken up to see if he was a bear. I didn’t see a bear today either! 

We had a lazy morning at camp and then the four of us headed out around 8 - Whitewater, Wallace, Day Hiker, and me. Whitewater had a box to pick up just 0.1 off the trail at the US 522 at a little hostel called Mountain Home Cabbin. I don’t know why they use two b’s.... The guidebooks said they had free lemonade and cookies for hikers, so we decided to tag along with Whitewater to see if this dream could become a reality. 

The four of us hiked like we were on a mission. Visions of lemonade ran through my head. When we got to the hostel, the owner came out (Lisa, I think) and showed us to the cabin. There was another thru hiker, Sky, there. Lisa was awesome and very welcoming and generous. We had lemonade and animal crackers and checked through the hiker box there. The rooms in the little cabin looked really nice and it seemed like a great place to stay.

When Whitewater had organized her food from the box shipment, we packed up and left. The day was getting hot, but the trail was definitely starting to look a bit more like the green tunnel everyone talks about. There were tons of trillium and other flowers along the way. Spring is really and solidly here! 

The terrain today, with the exception of s couple hills and short rocky sections, was pretty easy. I made faster time than usual. We stopped into the Jim and Molly Denton Shelter for lunch, and who was there but Happy Feet! Yesterday Ray the trail angel had said that she was in front of us, which meant she must have passed us when we were at Elkwallow Wayside. It was a fun lunch reunion and our group for the day grew by one. Now we were just missing Tarzan, who I later found out was back in Front Royal picking up a package. We ate lunch at the shelter and also checked out their solar shower that they had there. Unfortunately it was not working, so after our food we headed out. Day Hiker, Wallace and I jumped ahead and walked through the hot afternoon sun. We stopped and talked with some construction workers at a road crossing as they were curious about our hike. At one point, I almost stepped on yet another black king snake. Day Hiker tried to grab it by the tail as it did not want to move out of the trail. It didn’t like that much, but then he used his trekking pole to lift it and move it to the side. That snake really didn’t want to leave the trail!

We walked and walked through the forest, passing deer, rabbits, large red-headed woodpeckers, and the usual allotment of chipmunks and squirrels. We made it to the Whiskey Hollow shelter right by Whiskey Hollow creek. There are actually two shelters here. Dick’s Dome is the original, smaller shelter. It is oddly shaped kind of like a Dome. Whiskey Hollow is the newer, larger one. Whiskey Hollow was really nice and had a great porch and common area, so we decided to sleep there. Day Hiker, Wallace and I chatted as we waited on the girls to arrive. I went down to the creek and got water, soaked my feet, and washed out the clothes I was wearing. I gave myself a little bath in the creek and tried to rinse the salt out of my hair. It felt good! My clothes will probably still be wet in the morning, but at least they won’t be salty!

When Whitewater and Happy Feet arrived, we all made food and chatted and talked about Harpers Ferry, getting there, and resupply after that. It was a great day and a good evening! I was grateful for the easy and forgiving terrain today, the good weather and the excellent company. Tomorrow will probably be a longer day, but I guess I’ll see what the trail brings!

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