Nick Klockenga

Delayed Update on Week 9 - Shenandoah's and Trail Days

1 I'm not one of those people who finds writing easy. I wish I was able to write clear sentences and enjoy written communicating with others more, but I don't. So when I challenged myself to write weekly updates about my status and story on the Appalachian Trail, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking. This said, I don't plan on giving up on weekly updates, but I ask for forgiveness on the delay.

As I write now I'm actually beginning week 12 on the trail. So week 9 was only a few weeks ago, but some of the details are a little fuzzy. I do keep bullet point reminders of events and activities to help jog my memory for later post updates.

The trail through the Shenandoah's was terrific. Spring was in full bloom. Flowers at this point where along the edges of the trail and the green canopy provided full sun protection. The trail in the Shenandoah's runs from mountain ridge to mountain ridge. Great views and scenery almost everyday averaging around 25 miles a day. The weather was great almost every day too. A few of the shelters where not very pleasant and water was harder to come by. The first shelter I stopped at for the night had a 20 lb rat who would walk around the shelter as soon and the sun set. I decided to sleep in my tent that night. The Shenandoah's also have a road named the Skyline Drive in the Park. This road twists and turns across the entire length mountain ridge running parallel to the AT most the time. I was very happy about this road because it meant daily crossing for me and other hikers to stop and eat. Along the Skyline Drive, about every 20 miles or so, there are Wayside restaurants that serve delicious cheesecburgers and french fries. Needless to say, I ate well through the Shenandoah's.

I also went back to Damascus Virginia for Trail Days. Trail Days is a hiker festival (the biggest one) that happens annually. I didn't originally plan on attending but things worked out nicely so that I had a ride to and from Damascus. This was important since it was a 4 hour drive away. Trail Days was a good time, not all that exciting though. It was mostly just a nice 3 day break from walking. I enjoyed checking out all the outdoor gear companies that attended and seeing fellow thru-hikers in one location. I'm glad I went.

Week 10 update will follow soon. 2