Tuesday. What a day! After a lovely breakfast at the B+B we headed out again. First to the ranger station to get info. Seneca Rock is going to be it today. We are told there is a visitor center and we are heading there. A young lady tells us from the parking lot go down steps, over another parking lot, over a bridge and that is the trail to Seneca Rock Overlook. Great. We go back to the car to get our hiking shoes, backpacks and poles and then find everything as she says.
This picture doesn't really show the beauty. It is so quiet except for the birds and the little steam is making a lively sound too.
We go gently steadily uphill until we come to this. No info. James thinks it is a shortcut of the switchbacks we were told about. So he goes there. I look at it and say "I don't think so for me" and continue on the gravel road.
Oops, in the middle of the road? Don't really want to go past it's head but thanks to one of my poles I find out that it is dead.
After a while my road comes to ... a dead end! Stop Privat Property? I must be wrong. O.k. I track back. Beauties on the way.
So I guess James was right and this is the trail after all. And I start on it. After 200 or 300 feet I decide I can't (or don't want to) do it. Straight up on loose rocks? From James' experience 3 days out of Seville last year I know that going down is even more dangerous then going up. I am very slow ... and very careful.
Back down I sit on the bottom rock and have a little cry (and prayer). What to do now? Of course there is never any cell phone service in these mountains. I gather myself and decide to trace a bit more back. Not far I see 3 humans come over the stream off another part of the trail with the blue trail markers. I ask them whether they might have seen James (no) but after asking I get the good info that this trail goes to the overlook too, he doesn't have to come down the same way (which makes me feel so much better ... Thank you, Lord) and it is not the right trail we wanted. They tell me where to go and off I went.
This is a picture James took and shared later! See the blue marker in the middle in the very back?
I had lost a lot of time and wondered what James was doing. I hiked steadily up but it takes time especially in this altitude. A young couple overtakes me and I ask them if they see a tall Englishman with a Tilley hat up on top to please tell him to stay there and that he was in trouble (wink wink).
After some time (and I was almost there) I meet a family coming down all cheerfully asking whether I was the wife. Wonderful news. We all laugh and go on our ways.
And then there he is coming down. The couple which had overtaken me had told him that I was in trouble so he was even more worried what happened to me. What an adventure. My face in the photo is like that because I still have trouble taking selfies.
I really want to go all the way and James doesn't mind. And there we are!
It is a gorgeous view. We can see our parked car to the left and people standing fishing in the Potomac River.
I am learning a lot on these hikes. Trying out shoe laces. The left shoe still has the one it came with. The right one is one we bought extra. James used those on the Camino and likes them very much. He volunteered to put the other one in tonight because I do too.
Going down we see this (live) snake and of course stopped to look a little. A huge boyscout troop was coming up in bunches so some of them got the benefit of what we were seeing too.
Going down was so much easier. It really is a lovely trail. We meet several families with children of all ages. We met a number of flip-flops! No way!
Of course we ended differently than we had started. Here is a good look at Seneca Rock.
We actually had to go through the visitor center to get to our car so we talked to the young lady again. She didn't know that there were parking lots and steps and bridges on either side. She was "only" an intern for the summer. We suggested that the place where we had to turn off (and missed it) really needed a sign. It would be interesting to know whether that will happen.
On the other hand, this gave me more hiking experience and we did have an adventures wonderful day. The first map is mine, the second is James. For some reason I had to turn mine upside-down so it's easier to compare. Mine counts the steps so the mileage is not true (should be more) but of course it doesn't matter.
Of course it was way past lunchtime so we decided to pop into the Chinese place (really looking for another place but couldn't find it). It was a buffet and quite nice. Then we stopped at Subways for a footlong we put into the fridge in our room to share for dinner so we didn't have to go out any more. Crashing in our room with a beer after our showers sounded good.
Early in the morning we were told to expect heavy thunderstorms at 4 pm. Guess what happened when we sat on our hosts' back porch at 4? It was very cozy.
I managed later to write the blog of hike 1 and do a little stitching again. But not much. Sleep was calling.