More about the roof repair later this week, but I decided during breakfast on Sunday that I might like to take a drive up into Shenandoah National Park and do a short hike to Stonyman or Hawksbill Summit, both of which I have reviewed a number of times here on the blog. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the entrance station, I found that Skyline Drive was still closed due to the winter’s ice and snow – the area had another four inches during the week, on top of what’s already on the ground.
I made a quick change of plans, deciding to see how the trail up to Mary’s Rock might be – there are two ways to the trailhead that don’t require getting on Skyline Drive. One is to enter from the lower Panorama parking lot, off of US 211, and the other is to hike a short way up the Appalachian Trail, also from US 211. Park visitors are still obligated to pay the Park entry fee even if they don’t pass through an entry station – keep that in mind.
There were three or four cars in the lot, so I knew I wouldn’t be the only one on the path, and it looked like quite a few people had been up and down the mountain despite the snow on the ground. As I started up the hill, I noticed that the most recent tracks were made by someone who wisely wore ice cleats – the center part of the path, with the most footfalls, was slick and icy.