Shenandoah Day Five

Today's hike starts with crossing Ivy Creek. Just an easy rock hop across this trickle of a stream. This is the only water we will cross on our entire hike. The Appalachian Trail follows the top of the ridge line for much of Shenandoah National Park, which allows for gorgous views of the valleys and distant mountains. It does make it difficult for ThruHikers to obtain drinking water and they don't get to see the waterfalls, cascading down in the lower regions. Lucky for me that I have hiked to all the waterfalls over the many years that I have been coming to the park.
I looked really hard but I didn't see any jack-in-the-pulpits in the Ivy Creek drainage. But I found three pink lady slippers.
Many people don't know that lady slipper orchid leaves and stems are poisin and can cause a rash as nasty as poisin ivy. Touch me not!
Finely! Finely! Finely! I see a bear! I thought I heard the sound of a bear scampering up a tree. Their claws make a distinct clicking sound on the tree trunk that I've heard before. I stop and scan the woods, yep, that dark shadow is moving– way too close to me. Laura is pretty far behind me and I don't want to yell to her so I just back up very slowly. Mama bear isn't very interested in me, she's making sure her cub is safe up in the tree.
I couldn't get a good picture of the cub with the limited zoom on my phone camera. Darn. He is the cutest, tiny ball of fur! Several ThruHikers come down the Trail and are thrilled to watch the bears for a while.The hikers are anxious to take a side trail up to the Loft Mountain Wayside where they can get burgers and blackberry milkshakes but Mother bear is not going to move off while her baby is in the tree. Laura and I continue on at the junction since our trail moves away from the bears.
Tonight we are tenting at Loft Mountain Campground. Not as luxurious as Big Meadows Lodge, but no freeze dried dinner for us. After setting up camp, we drove to the Loft Wayside to test those burgers and blackberry milkshakes for ourselves. Delishious! Definitely worth risking a bear attack for. Um…not really!
Relaxing at the end of a perfect day. Milkshakes and bears!
Ivy Creek Overlook to Blackrock Parking
Miles hiked 10.6
Bears sited 2 Yeaaaa!



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  1. Debby O'Keefe says

    I imagine there could be some lovely lady slippers or jack -in-the pulpits in some of your future quilts . Bears? Maybe not!
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and I hope all bear sightings are from a safe distance. Oh, and that goes for snakes, too!

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