Shenandoah - Old Fat Guy + Swimming Hole

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mckee80
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Shenandoah - Old Fat Guy + Swimming Hole

Post by mckee80 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:35 am

I just re-read this and decided to put the pictures first so no one had to read my embarrasing story.

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Image Hard to see, but the water from my hot tub cascades down 20-30 feet into the next pool.

Image I took lots of reflection pictures while soaking.

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Image "Action" photo of me taking a nap. Unfortunately didn't get one of me eating a sandwich.

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I wasn't really sure where to put this, if anywhere, but I guess technically it was backpacking. I was dying to get out of the house and it was super hot. And I wanted to try out my inReach mini (my last inReach tumbled down the outlet of Shadow Lake on the first day of my first long solo trip). I had an unexpected window open up with work/home/hockey tryouts/etc. So, I headed down to Shenandoah for two nights. My plan was to roll in Wednesday evening and set up camp 1.5 miles in. Next day, I had a day hike loop I was going to do, then return to basecamp. In between, I was going to spend some time in swimming holes (which was the main reason I chose this place).

I got to the Front Royal entrance station around 7:00. It is self registration, they were out of forms. I went back to the station and they didn't have any there either. The ranger recommended I drive an hour and a half round trip to the next campground. I recommended that I take some scrap paper from my car, describe my trip, and drop it in the box. He smiled and told me that he couldn't say the words "its ok if you do that". So, that's what I did.

I took the Thompson Hollow trail down to Overall Run and found an existing campsite along the creek. Got set up as it was getting dark and also realized I didn't have any food. Not like I left it in the car, like I actually neglected to bring any (I really did motor out there on short notice).

Next morning, I hiked back to the car and hit a gas station a couple miles away. Grabbed a couple sandwiches, and was heading towards the counter when something caught my eye. A beer display. And I started imagining a different plan for the day. I grabbed a six pack and hiked it and my sandwiches back to camp. My new plan was to spend the day in a swimming hole and have some refreshing beverages. OK. Then I realized I didn't have my charger and my phone was low. I had brought my big camera, but my son jacked it up when he borrowed it for a school project and I didn't have my brush or wipes. So, I went back to the car to trade the big camera for a charging cable. I already had my bathing suit on, so I could jump in the water on the way back.

Got to the car, made the swap, passed the swimming hole and decided to jump in (at this point, I should say I have been obsessed with jumping off a rock into the water in the backcountry and had, for various reasons, not done it yet). Emptied my pockets, jumped off the rocks, grabbed my stuff. I realized I didn't have my inReach. I figured it fell out of my pocket between there and the car. I retraced my steps to the car, no sign of it. Drove 10 miles to get reception to tell my wife not to expect messages, came back and looked all the way to my campsite. It was gone. I was annoyed, but didn't let it ruin my day.

The main swimming hole had some people there, but I found one a little downstream that was perfect. Spent the day watching the water flow. Took a nap in the hammock, had a sandwich. It was a very good day.

I guess there is a reason I make spreadsheets and pack a certain way. Apparently, that is necessary for me. Oh, and I tracked my inReach once I got home. It looks like it was still in my pocket when I jumped in the water. It made it to the next pool down where someone picked it up and drove it to Fairfax, VA. I messaged it a couple times, offering a "reward" to send it back, but it never pinged after that day.

So, all in all, a pretty enjoyable dumpster fire of a "backpacking trip".








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Jason
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Re: Shenandoah - Old Fat Guy + Swimming Hole

Post by Jason » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:50 am

I need to be more like you..... if I had half that many misadventures on a trip I'd have given up. Kudos for sticking with it and having a nice time.
I am also a fat guy, enjoy swimming holes and, having been to Shenandoah once (day hiking mostly) I can honestly say that I love that little park. It has some nice fishing and hiking and great views from up top. Thanks for the report.

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Harlen
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Re: Shenandoah - Old Fat Guy + Swimming Hole

Post by Harlen » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:37 am

McKee30 wrote:
Hard to see, but the water from my hot tub cascades down 20-30 feet into the next pool.
...passed the swimming hole and decided to jump in (at this point, I should say I have been obsessed with jumping off a rock into the water in the backcountry and had, for various reasons, not done it yet)...
When you wrote that, after foreshadowing talk of misadventures, I was afraid you lept or tumbled down, and Humpty-dumptyed yourself on the rocks of the lower pool! I'm glad it wasn't that, and you had misadventures of a more mundane, but less painful sort. Glad you stuck it out, and had a great time. Thanks for the well-written and entertaining report.

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