May 24 – Families in the Woods

Memorial Day Weekend provides a respite from the workaday world (and warming weather) to pull throngs of people from the city into the restorative woods. Because we were passing through some park service land (which is better advertised then comparable forest service land) and because we are passing close to several high population areas, the population on the section of trail we passed through probably increased a thousand fold. And with good reason.

We were treated to spectacular swimming holes, clear balds with panoramic views, and open campsites with fresh springs and oak plank swings. In this section of Virginia, the campsites even come fully fernished. (I sometimes field test these quips for humor–only Orion found this one humerus, which led instead to a discussion as to whether quadrupeds actually have four femurs and no arm bones–either way, prey,the disarmed deer no longer has a funny bone in its body).

After crossing over a gorgeous bald with sweeping mountain views, we paused for lunch and a swing. We met a former thru-hiker from 2002 (the same year we last went through) who was out for an overnight with his wife and two kids (four and two). We chatted for a while and they shared some cold drinks before we moved on for the night. We camped by another spring, and met some former thru-hikers (from 1998) who were out for the weekend with their seven year-old daughter Riley (and their dog). Cartwheel hit it off with her instantly (as did Orion with his playmate), and they spent the evening and morning off trooping around on their own (with RobinHood joining them occasionally).

RobinHood helped a thru-hiker named Vagabond build a fire, then they treated us to an impromptu poetry jam as RobinHood recited the poems he’s memorized by Robert Frost, Robert Service, and William Blake and Vagabond returned the favor with some by Emily Dickinson and Anonymous poets. Traveling a long distance trail, the trail becomes a part of you and it’s inspiring to see former trail pilgrims who are now parents sharing those parts of themselves with their kids. The woods is a great place for kids, it helps them grow emotionally, spiritually and physically. The same is probably true for us adults, so we’re glad to see the woods flood with people this Memorial Day weekend (and just as glad that even with the influx we can still find pockets that feel like we have them to ourselves).

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8 Comments on “May 24 – Families in the Woods

  1. David, you are just too ferny! You bracken me up!

  2. Deer Dave: Humorists of your elk are a buck a dozen. (Note the ungulated inflation.) Though your pungent, punch-drunk cloven-tongued wit deserves punishment, if not a revoking of your poetic license, we still caribou you. And you might as well keep trying; you’re not out of the woods yet.

  3. A good weekend for families in the woods! Of course, when is it not a good time to be in the woods? Great meeting y’all, Reilly is still talking about Cartwheel.
    Safe Travels,
    Dogman, Buglady, Makes3, & Hazeldog (Sean, Siobhan, Reilly & Hazel GA-ME98)

  4. Jason: I see you yakking away with your pampas ungulated inflation in an attempt to get my goat (though I’ll make a Hardy request that you keep private any inflated undulations, whether they be cloven-tongued, camel-toed, or just plain pig-headed). Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying to get out of the woods. All In good fun.

  5. I happen to love all the puns, and especially glad we haven’t lost your banter from with Jason. But it’s just the lack of dairy in my diet that makes me appreciate the cheesiness. Either way, keep it comin’

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