A friend was in town from Oregon last weekend and had a free day, so we took her out Shenandoah National Park and hiked the Cedar Run, Hawskbill, White Oak Canyon loop. It is a nice ten-mile loop that shows off some of the best of the park: big waterfalls, the highest peak in the park, and it has enough climbing to be a good workout. I feel like we've been to White Oak Canyon countless times, but looking back through the blog and my photos, I hadn't been since 2011 and Michael hadn't been since 2009. It was nice to see all of the waterfalls again.
The weather was perfect: sunny and in the high 40s. For much of the climb up Cedar Run, we were protected from the wind, so it felt pretty warm. It had rained earlier in the week, which meant the waterfalls were running well. We ate lunch just before we got to Skyline Drive. That was our first taste of the wind. We all got cold pretty quickly. The walk up to the top of Hawksbill warmed us back up, but it was pretty windy and cold up there. We took a few pictures and headed back down the mountain. We crossed back over Skyline Drive and picked up the fire road that connects to the White Oak Canyon Trail. We had a nice walk down past all of the big waterfalls. Since it was too cold to swim, it wasn't terribly crowded.
Capital Weather Gang, in the DC area, we had a 19 day stretch in January where the temperature didn't drop below freezing. I'm sure it was colder in the mountains, but it has clearly still been unusually warm.