National Geographic : 1949 Aug
New England's Green Glory Holds These Hikers Spellbound. Vermont Boulders above Sherburne Pass Make a Fine Grandstand College students and summer hotel workers gaze afar from Deer Leap Mountain overlooking a lovely rolling countryside. South from this peak the Appalachian Trail coincides with Vermont's Long Trail. In my years of living in Washington, D. C., I've spent many week ends in the closed shel ters in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. They are maintained and operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. A visit to Pocosin Shelter was typical. Ten of us-four girls and six boys-drove from steaming Washington to the Blue Ridge for a week end 3,000 feet up in the cool hills. We parked the cars just off the fire road close to the Skyline Drive. The enclosed cabin, built of squared chestnut logs, had a stone-flagged front porch; in one corner was an open fireplace. All hands pitched in to get supper on the table in a hurry. One couple grilled sizzling steaks. Rolls crisped in tin plates tilted toward the flames. The lid of a huge gray coffeepot fluttered. Against the fading sky a whippoorwill swooped. We moved a table from the porch to the hard-packed ground in front. Every one pounded the table with tin plates. Soon the "chef" slapped down a red-hot steak before each famished customer (page 234). One of the girls forked out steaming ears of corn. Taunts and chatter gave place to brief demands mumbled through busy jaws: "Butter, please!"-"Pass the rolls"-"Who's got the salt?" Someone handed out apples, and we watched the peels curl in the coals. The yellow disk of the full moon lifted in the east. One of our party softly played a harmonica. Cabins Provide Everything but Food Pocosin, like the other three closed shelters in Shenandoah National Park, has double deck bunks with mattresses and blankets. It contains a stove, cooking utensils and dishes, adequate tableware-everything for the hiker's comfort except food. All these cabins are near enough to roads so that it's easy to tote in grub, even for several days' stay. Each hut is kept locked. To the reserving party the key is lent for the period of use.