Hiking the Piney Branch Trail

After a week of too much work, with an equally demanding week ahead of me, I needed a break.  So I met up with Amy and her sister Julie for a hike in the Shenandoah National Park.
We did a twelve mile loop through lush green forest.  Part of time we were on a fire road, so it felt less like “hiking” than, well, strolling along a road.  At least there were lots of yellow flowers.
But then the trail got hillier and a tad more challenging.  It also got more humid and spiderwebby.  I was in the lead at this point, so I spent the whole time pulling sticky threads off my skin and face.  I took to swinging a big stick around in front of me like a machete for invisible jungle vines.
Along the way we saw only a few other hikers but lots of butterflies.  Mostly of the Mourning Cloak variety.  Or something black and gothic-looking like that.  Looked pretty against the purple thistles.
And speaking of gothic . . .
Nothing like a creepy family cemetary in the middle of the forest.  The headstones were all dated between the 1870s and 1920s.  No other information available.  We decided there was land feud and a massive fire.  As we know from Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier, mysteries are always better when there’s a fire.


  1. Hmm… Your machete-stick will suffice for a cane, but I certainly hope at least one of your companions was in a long white dress if you're going to make gothic claims!


  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    …at least it wasn't dusk on Halloween night. But I do love a good mystery. Lady


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