River & Peak Outfitter

River Peak and Otter Outfitter

River & Peak Outfitter is located at the corner of Hwy 55 and Hwy 340 in Front Royal about 4 miles from the Hwy 522 AT trailhead. They’re across the street from the Spelunker’s Restaurant which has truly amazing frozen yogurt.

They’re a full service outfitter and carry a diverse assortment of backpacking supplies. They will also provide info on canoeing and kayaking trips on the Shenandoah River for those hikers taking a zero day in Front Royal.

They can be reached at 540 692 8941, or by email to sales@riverandpeak,com.

Basecamp, Front Royal VA


New for 2019 AT Thru-Hikers

Basecamp is located at 122 Main Street in historic downtown Front Royal. Supported by local businesses, several AT hikers provided valuable input in its design and furnishing.  Though it opened late last year, the Class of 2019 will be the first through hikers to enjoy its generous amenities.

Basecamp is supported by the Front Royal Brewing Company, Mountain Trails Outfitters, and the Down Home Comfort Bakery. To get into Basecamp hikers need to go to one of these business to obtain the door code which is also the electronic code for their locker.


Getting There

From the Hwy 522 trailhead NOBO hikers can use a local shuttle service, taxi, or the Front Royal Trolley to get to the Visitors Center which is 4 miles away. Two blocks from the Visitors they should enter the outer door of the Front Royal Brewing Company at 122 Main Street. Inside, they should stop at the bakery or the brewing company to obtain their door code. The entrance to Basecamp is just to the left of the inner door to the Front Royal Brewing Company.

From the Hwy 55 trailhead SOBO hikers can use a local shuttle service or taxi to get to the Visitors Center which is 8.5 miles away

Basecamp Amenities

  • FREE lockers to store your pack and other gear

  • FREE washer, dryer and detergent

  • PRIVATE bathroom and shower with a deep sink

  • Clean towels

  • Hiker’s Box

  • Loaner Box with clothes hikers can use while their clothes are being washed

Basecamp Journal

An entire blank wall is provided as the Basecamp Journal.  Everyone is  encouraged to leave their mark here. Feel free to contribute your  messages, trail updates, inspirational quotes, original artwork, etc. It will be exciting to see what the Class of 2019 leaves behind!


Be sure to visit the local businesses on Main Street, especially those supporting Basecamp. They all look forward to meeting you and providing information on what else is available nearby.

Eno© Hammock

Eno Hammock

I’ll be camping at Big Meadows this weekend and trying out my new Eno© hammock and tent fly. I recently found the hammock on sale at the REI Outlet for 70% off MSRP. So now I’m a “hammock camper”. Thank goodness I didn’t find an igloo for sale!

Everyone ensures me there will be lots of places to hang it. The hardcore enthusiasts insist I’ll never sleep on the ground again and I’ll want to hang the hammock on my back deck. I wonder what the HOA will think about that.

I’ll let you know this adventure goes.

Wilderness Weekend

SNP Wilderness Weekend

Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Wilderness!
September 8 – 9, 2018

Celebrate America’s wilderness heritage during Shenandoah National Park’s 18th annual Wilderness Weekend. One of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States, Shenandoah’s wilderness offers opportunities for solitude, scenic views, wildlife sightings, and glimpses into the past. Gaze into Shenandoah’s wilderness from Skyline Drive or experience wilderness on the trail.

Shenandoah’s wilderness was designated by Congress in October 1976. Forty percent of the park, almost 80,000 acres, is wilderness. Areas preserved as wilderness provide habitats for wildlife, sites for research, reservoirs for clean, free-flowing water, and sanctuaries for human recreation. Today more than 109 million acres of public land across the United States are protected in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Join us at one of the special programs listed below to learn more about wilderness in Shenandoah.

Zombie Taxidermy #2

Zombie graphic

My first taxidermy order came from a State game warden after the zombie outbreak near Warm Springs. He had captured the zombie in a baited bear trap in the Sierra Mountains near the Pacific Coast Trail. The intact upper torso arrived yesterday afternoon in the locked metal box I sent him to ship it in.

In my underground work room I narrowly escaped being bitten when I opened the metal box. The damn thing nearly tore my arm off and bit into my chain-male glove before I could throw it to the work room floor. Afterwards, I cut off both arms and the torso before storing these putrid remains in the freezer.

I’ve taken several precautions to protect my neighbors in case I’m  bitten and become a zombie. The exterior door lock requires a hidden key, a 16 digit PIN, and fingerprint authentication. After three failed attempts to unlock the door its sealed and can’t be opened from the inside. This triggers a self-destruct mechanism that will incinerate everything in the work room. It’s the least I could do to protect my neighbors and limit my liability.

After screwing the Kevlar safety shield into the zombie’s skull I mounted it on the oak plaque. Throughout the procedure the damn thing violently shook its head back and forth and tried desperately to bite me. When I was done I immediately incinerated my bio-suit, chain-male gloves and face shield since they were covered with gore. Disinfecting the room took most of the night.

I packed the mounted head in dry ice before shipping it back to California. I enclosed an ominous sounding letter from my lawyer warning the buyer to never remove the Kevlar safety shield. It also included detailed instructions on how to safely mount his trophy on the wall.