Once Upon a Time I Hiked with Jean in the Shenandoah Mountains
Photo by Jean Pollack,  September 14, 2003

Girl's Weekend Away

In mid September 2003, my sister Jean and I spent a weekend together hiking in the Shenandoah National Park.

This was the first time in more than a quarter century that the two of us have traveled by ourselves. The last time was to a cousin's wedding in California in 1976

The Big Meadow Lodge is listed in the "National Register of Historic Places". We stayed in the Roundtop.unit.

The Great Room

Most of the National Parks lodges  have some kind of main room where large numbers of visitors can gather. Many of these "great" rooms are spectacular. 

Jackson Lake Lodge has a magnificent 60 foot picture window looking out on the Grand Tetons. The dining room at the North Rim Lodge has a stunning view of the Grand Canyon. The great room at Big Meadow has a huge picture window that (on clear days) offers a magnificent view of the  Shenandoah River Valley.

Jean and I are posed in front of the massive fireplace in the great room at the Shenandoah Lodge.

Elizabeth (left) and Jean,, September 14, 2003

Photo by Jean Pollack,  September 14, 2003

Rustic Cabin

The Park weaves along Skyline Drive for 105 miles atop the spine of the 4,000 foot Shenandoah Mountains. 

All the time we were there the Drive was enveloped in clouds so thick that a year later Jean was still wondering if there really were valleys below.

Shown here is one of the rustic cabins that are intermixed with motel type accommodations.

Foggy Meadow

It rained most of the weekend. Trails were slippery and soggy. Views were limited mostly to the length of a football field, and that was during its clear moments.

Still we did take a few  short hikes and got very wet each time.

Photo by Jean Pollack,  September 14, 2003

Photo by Jean Pollack,  September 2003

On the Trail

Jean and I had planned this weekend for a couple of months and were pretty determined that a few clouds and rain and fog were not going to stop us for getting out.

However, because of the weather and visibility, we didn't really want to get too far from the lodge.

Jean took this snap shot of me on our first hike which was to the 3465 foot Tanners Ridge Overlook. You can see the fog around me.

As might be expected from this photo, there wasn't much of a view when we got to the overlook. 



Jean at Dark Hollow Falls

Another hike Jean and I took was to Dark Hollow Falls. The trail down was easy but slippery. The trail up was even more unsure and not easy at all..

Unsurprisingly, the normally tiny stream was a torrent beside Jean as she stands at the falls..

September 2003

Photo by Jean Pollack,  September  2003

Rose River with Water

The Dark Hollow trail goes down to the Rose River. I've hiked this dozens of time with lots of people and often by myself.

Usually at this time of year, the river is a  dried up rivulet or a tiny trickle at best.

In more than 25 years of visiting Shenandoah National Park, I've never seen so much water in the streams.


National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/shen/

Shenandoah National Park http://www.shenandoah.national-park.com/