Back east for two weddings = wonderful and familiar running complete with deciduous trees, cloudy days, and humidity.
To cap off our eastern week, we spend two nights in Shenandoah National Park (and abruptly evacuated the park, we were originally planning a 3 night trip, more on that later). We got a 10 mile hike in on day 1 and a 20 mile run in the next day. For the run, we chose the largest suggested route from a Virginia hiking book, which linked 4 big trails and summited three mountains. This sounds hard core, but, I assure you, these mountains are all under 4,500 ft.
It was mostly uneventful. Some sections were crazy rocky and I had improperly chosen shoes and had to walk. This was to be my last longer run before the 50 mile soon, about 10 days prior, so I wasn’t looking to push it.
We just took in the beautiful scenery (the Blue Ridge Mountains!) and trees (American chestnut!) and enjoyed the Appalachians.
We were in the National park when it was announced that the government shut down. We were without cell phone service, but guessed this was coming when we saw the large park ranger walking down the campground handing out papers and taking time explaining / kicking out everyone.
We were packing up anyway and when the ranger told us we had 48 hrs to leave but the gates would be locked in 8 hrs, we nodded. After packing up, we drove to a trailhead and started our run! How defiant! We celebrated with dinner and beer while over looking the Shenandoah valley when finished.
But then- we were locked out! A brief few minutes of panic before we realized the lock was jimmied, then we were on out way back to Charlottesville to crash at Joe’s sister’s place.