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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Why no hikes yet? Or Rats! Foiled Again!

I must apologize for the fact that I have not posted any entries about actual hikes yet. Lately I have not had much time. I promise to go hiking at least once in the next week, hopefully next Sunday. Unfortunately, the weather has been horrible lately. It has rained heavily in my area from last Sunday through Wednesday, to the point that some areas were flooded. My own neighborhood is safe, but of course hiking is out of the question until we get a break in the weather. I tried again to go today, and another thunderstorm put a quick end to that. So instead of hiking, I have been reading about hiking a little, looking at several books that I have on the subject.

Here are the books I have been reading through:

  • Walking Softly in the Wilderness, by John Hart.

  • Guide to Shenandoah National Park, by Henry Heatwole.

  • 100 Easy Hikes Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, by Barbara A. Noe.

  • 75 Hikes in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, by Russ Manning.

These books are practical guidebooks. Walking Softly in the Wilderness was my textbook when I took the hiking and camping class at Montgomery College back in 1992, and tells you everything you have to know about equipment and safety for hiking and camping. Since I had lost the edition I had when I took the class, I just bought the latest, most up-to-date version today. Heatwole's Guide to Shenandoah National Park is the bible for hiking in Shenandoah, with lots of maps and diagrams. The other two are decent guidebooks to Shenandoah and other parts of my region, as the titles suggest.

For a real change of pace, I picked up Weird Hikes: A Collection of Bizarre, Funny, and Absolutely True Hiking Stories, by Art Bernstein. The title speaks for itself, and I am just starting to read it. So far, it's amusing reading. Another narrative, this time about doing a thru-hike on the entire Appalachian Trail, with brilliant photos, is Appalachian Adventure From Georgia to Maine - A Spectacular Journey on the Great American Trail. This book was written by a group of Newspaper reporters.

Isn't it such a drag to be forced to just read about hiking, instead of being able to do it? I would say so, but when it's raining and flooding, there's little else you can do. I also had to charge my brand new camera batteries, while sitting out the thunderstorm. This reading will at least help me to prepare for the real thing.

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted when I finally get out of the house!


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