On the windy ride back into the woods of the Shenandoah’s, Hansel enlightened us on the three reasons why hiking in a pine forest is so enjoyable:
1. The needles from the trees fall and make the ground softer to walk on. The needles pack down, unlike the leaves in hardwood forests which just lay on top and hide rocks, bumps and holes.
2. There is no undergrowth in a pine forest because the needles makes the ground more acidic. This leaves the forest feeling very open and you can see much further through the trees.
3. The branches in pine forests are higher up so even though there are many tree trunks, there are no branches whacking you in the face as you walk and you are able to see much better.
Gretel agreed that hiking through a pine forest is neat, though she enjoys being surrounded by the green of a hardwood forest too. Pine forests are neat because they are so rare. “It’s kind of like walking through peoples fields.” You just don’t get to do it that often so the novelty makes it fun.
A stop at the only store in Damascus, VA before getting back on the Trail.
Hansel and Gretel in their new light-weight hiking shirts. A vibrant pair!
Taking shelter from the rain under the trunk of the car as they prepare to return to the woods.