Tuesday, July 8, 2014

... On the trail of the lonesome pine.

I had a day off from CFA grading, in fact three.  On the first we watched 2 World Cup football matches which took most of the day, on the second we went to Jamestown and on the third we felt we had to be active and do something vigorous.

In the past we'd been up to the Blue Ridge Mountains nearby and hiked up and down many times.  We never found the lonesome pine that Laurel & Hardy sang about --which to me is simply an excuse to attach this wonderful clip of the funniest guys on the planet.  Just listen and watch and try not to smile.  I can't.  I think they are wonderful!

So we watched the Wimbledon men's singles final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, a magnificent 5 set, 4 hour edge of your seat thriller that the 55 minute women's singles final the day before simply was not. What a game but after the Joker finally edged out Feds we decided to go for a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, some 45 minutes due west of Charlottesville in the Shenandoah National Park.

Virginia in the summer is hot, very hot and it never ceases to amaze me that this state is the place where most US Civil War battles took place.  In the summer.  In the never ending wildernesses that are the forests all over the state.  It is hot, really hot and those guys wore big, thick heavy clothes and tramped all over the place before and after the fighting.  How on earth did they do that?

By contrast I wore shorts and a dry fit shirt with my walking shoes and sweated buckets carrying my less than 10 pound back pack.  Mind you it was the 3.4 mile Riprap Trail that we walked!

Part of the Appalachian Trail

Lovely it was too.  The trail wasn't too bad, the ups and downs evened out (of course) and we didn't feel the slightest bit offended when a young lady trail runner ran past us at an amazing lick.  I was picking my way carefully over the rocks and tree spurs but she just licked on by!  Most impressive particularly when you consider that our trail was an out and back trail with the round trip being an even more impressive 9.8 mile loop.

The views were lovely.

To round things off on the way out we even got to see a black bear, or at least I think it was a black bear.  It was certainly a bear that was black but I don't know if the local varietals are considered to be Black or Brown.


I called him Yogi (of course) and he seemed entirely unconcerned with the tourists (including us) who'd stopped by the side of the road watching and taking picture after picture.  Yogi kept on munching whatever he was munching quite happily it seemed to me.

What he does in the woods of course remains a secret!

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