Stability in doubt

Friday, July 1
Byrds Nest #3 Hut (938.2)

With "just" 14 miles to do today, decide to have breakfast in the restaurant which is part of the Lodge. They open at 7:30, and packed and on trail at 8:45.

Trail is rocky pretty much all day.

There's a stable about half a mile from my lunch target, run by the Park Service. See soda machine, so drop pack at shaded picnic table and get a Pepsi. Drinking, their is a young family here, three children, none above 3. So cute. Stable woman asks me if I need help, explaining I am a hiker taking a break, and she points out which of the stabled horses it's okay to pet ("not that one, she looks sweet but she's a nipper".)

Return to picnic table after admiring all but petting none, and hear a foul mouthed tirade in a nearby parking lot. Hazy view of people going back and forth, and sounds like an unhinged teen aged boy who has had enough of his parents. Stable Dad looks on as well, as does Mom. Kids are asking what's going on, and Dad has finally had enough, asks female employee to call Rangers. He heads down, and I follow partly out of curiosity and partly to witness.

It's four twenty somethings, with a female who has obviously had enough of a male's behavior. Dad tells her to chill out, he has children nearby. After some confusion, they load up and leave (as do I) before Rangers arrive.

Stop at mile 931.7 at the Skyland Resort & Restaurant for lunch. Skip the restaurant and grab a sandwich, chips, and coffee drink from cafe and sit in air conditioned comfort.

Send this picture to inspire Gabe.

Back on trail, begin to realize how hot it's become. Heading up the Pinnacle (elev. 3,730) stop at the associated picnic area to load up on water (our camp area for the evening has water but it's 0.4 miles away). Gabe catches up here, but I head out first because we are hearing thunder in the distance.  I suppose this sounds callous, but Gabe is a faster hiker and can surely catch up.

The thunder only gets worse, and I pick up speed in a dash to get to the Hut before the rain does. Although threatening, the storm busies itself elsewhere and we are left with a sunny, and cooling dusk.

Home sweet home.

Starting to look like bad Amish farmer.

They are not shelters in the SNP, but "huts". This is the back of the one tonight, built by the CCC in the 1930's.

Only two more days in Shenandoah NP.


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