backpacking
11 days ago

TICKS! Ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks. Admittedly went in to this trek ignorant to the prevalence of ticks in Virginia, especially as it relates to spring, but my goodness were they everywhere. They unfortunately consumed a lot of our time - fighting them off, checking each other, keeping bags off the ground, etc. We couldn't even sit at our backcountry camp site, as within minutes there'd be 2-3 crawling up your boot.

This was a combination of lack of preparedness by us (i'll never go in the woods without premethrine spray and /or treated clothes again) and negligence by the welcome center of Shenandoah National Park. We spent 30 minutes discussing possible treks with a Ranger there, going over every little detail including what to look out for. That ticks never came up, knowing how unbelievably prevalent they are there, was ridiculous. You have families and newbie backpackers coming in oblivious, and you don't even mention it? Whatever with the bears ....TICKS! One ended up getting me, and I'm not happy about it.

Regarding the actual trek, it was nice. The stream/river was beautiful and we set up camp about 30 yards off of it. Provided beautiful sounds all day and night. Had a day hike up Neighbor's Mountain (2400 feet) which was cool. Nothing amazing, just a bunch of pretty vistas at the peak. On your way down Jeremy's Run to start the ascent of Neighbor Mountain, you'll come across a pretty water fall. Nothing monstrous, but decent size and power. Adjacent to that waterfall is an ideal camping spot. I'm guessing it's very popular and it had a lot of signs of use. Yet another thing that should've been mentioned by the Ranger. I would target this as a camp spot for overnighters. Spacious and you're right on the waterfall. You'll see stone steps going up to the area across the stream near the waterfall.

All in all, good not great. Take a bath in permetrhine before you go! Kidding of course, it goes on clothes and gear only.

EDIT: I failed to mention that along Jeremy's Run you'll have to cross the stream/river about 15 times. When we went the water was very low, making crossing easy.