Saturday morning I woke up and talked the fave into going hiking… something we have never done together.
We don’t go hiking apart either, so this was one of those ‘something new’ things we could check off the list.
I’m not a hiker. I had to call my best friend to find out about:
- Where to hike around Richmond
- Can I wear old running shoes and not hiking boots?
- What clothes do I wear?
Needless to say I’m sure she got off the phone laughing at my idiotic questions. However, the advice to wear long socks was key to not bringing home those pesky ticks.
Dru directed us to the Shenandoah National Park and www.hikingupwards.com to find a trail.
The fave and I decided we wanted to get a good workout, but not be hiking for 5+ hours (it was already 11:30 by the time we left Richmond, whoops), so we settled on Big Run, which is a 6 mile hike that takes about 2.5- 3 hours to complete and is a level 3 (out of 5) difficulty.
By the time we drove got lunch, drove to the park, and got to the trail, it was already a little after 2pm. Luckily, when you’re up that high the temperature drops a bit and it wasn’t too hot.
The beginning and end of the hike had awesome views.
The hike itself wasn’t terribly difficult. The first couple of miles were mostly downhill, and it seemed like the last four were one long uphill battle.
The views on the hike were limited to the ground for me, as I nearly broke my ankle on a pinecone after an hour, of course.
Annnnd in even more exciting/ scary/ I don’t know what to do but we have a pocketknife so stay away news, fave spotted a big ol’ brown bear about 2.5 miles in.
It might have been the scariest 10 minutes I’ve experienced in a long time. All we had was our backpack (full of food), a big stick, and a pocket knife (you know, for emergencies).
Mr. Bear didn’t seem to want anything to do with us, but him being 50 yards away isn’t a comforting thought, especially when your turkey sammy is in your backpack wafting smells into the forest. So we stood still, tried to look big, and didn’t take a breath for a few minutes.
After that, I was literally hauling ass to get out of the forest. Unfortunately our trail took us right back around where Mr. Bear was wandering, so it was kind of tense for a couple of miles.
We had planned to have lunch somewhere in the middle, but quite frankly, I just wanted to make sure we were safe from the bears, so lunch happened when we got finished at around 5:00pm.
(Nope, not playing soccer, just keeping the ticks at bay.)
When we decided to eat lunch/ early dinner, we had another little visitor. Hello, Baby Bear.
Needless to say, when we finally ate lunch I was done in about 1.2 minutes.
It was a more stressful hike than I had originally planned.
Of course, we rewarded ourselves with something special… beer.
Ever been to Shenandoah National Forest?
Do you know how to handle bears in the woods?