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Published: August 14th 2010
Shore of Todd Lake
People were enjoying swimming and canoeing. We saw several people checking each other for leeches when they came out of the water.
Today we hiked. Usually when we are in this part of Virginia we hike various trails on the Skyline Drive. We decided today to hike in the mountains on the Western side of the Shenandoah Valley. I searched on the Internet and found several interesting trails. Nancy and I talked a bit and decided to go to Todd Lake as there were several trails there. Todd Lake is a flood control dam and lake on Skidmore Fork which runs into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The dam is much higher than a person would normally expect so the waters from a 500 year storm would be contained. Bill's dad surveyed and laid out several flood control ponds. I do not know the method used to predict the worst storm in a 500 year period, but that is what they are built to withstand.
Todd Lake is a short drive west of Mt. Solon Virginia, in the George Washington National Forest. Camping, picnicking, swimming and canoeing are available there as well as hiking. The day was HOT, so we choose a trail that we thought would be the flattest. Not only was it flat, but it crossed the North
It was steeper than it looks
This is the beginning of the descent to the trail. It quickly becomes almost vertical. Don't go this way!
River 9 times. This has been a very dry summer. Thus, the water in the river was low and we anticipated no problems crossing back and forth. We were near the headwaters and the river is more like a nice sized creek.
There were not nearly so many wildflowers here at at Reddish Knob. On one occasion we did see deer and we saw what we are sure was bear scat. Check out the picture. In subsequent days of hiking we were able to tell what berries were in season in different spots by the 'items' left in the scat. Grapes leave lots of white seeds. Black berries make for a nice BLACK pile, etc.
We stopped just after fording the river for the 4th or 5th time to eat our lunch. Bill took off his shirt, soaked it in the river so he would be cooler as he hiked. Bill encouraged Nancy to do the same. There was no one around. But she declined saying she did not like the feel of a wet shirt. (Actually I had on a knit shirt and figured as humid as the day was and as hot it would NEVER evaporate
and I would be in a steam bath!)
As is her habit ,when I was ready to turn back Nancy pushed me on and we crossed about 3 or 4 more fords of the creek before she relented and agreed we could head back to our car and our picnic lunch.
It was a great hike. We had entered the trail at the official parking spot for cars instead of the earlier pull off which seemed to be where others had parked. To get to the trail we had to climb down a quite steep bank for a long way. When we got back to that same place on our return, we found it was far steeper than it had seemed while climbing down. The hill was so vertical that it was not merely before us as we went up but actually at our chests. We were surprised at how easily we climbed up this amazingly steep section of the trail. If you go here, don't park where you are supposed to. Park in the 'unofficial' flat entry. The descent is very dangerous at the official parking spot and there is no sense in hurting yourself before the
Getting ready to ford the River
We had to be careful to step on steady rocks that were not slippery.
hike really begins. The other entry would give you only one more ford of the stream and it would really make a much easier and much much safer hike.
Enjoy the photos.
Tot: 2.891s; Tpl: 0.077s; cc: 10; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0239s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb