Twig Adventures

AT Day 71: Campstore Magic

Sunday Oct 3rd 2021, 0615-1910 James River to Cove Mountain Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1437.830.8 miles7800 gain, 6400 loss Despite some traffic noise and an early morning train, I slept very well. A great horned owl and an eastern screech owl provided a nice alarm clock in the morning. I passed a bunch of tents and hammocks in the dark as I set out along Matts Creek. The nearby shelter was empty, which was a surprise. The trail began an 11 mile ascent of Apple Orchard Mountain from this point. There were a few little dips in-between but most was up up up. It took me almost all morning to get up this one mountain. When I left my tent[…]

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AT Day 70: James River

Saturday Oct 2nd 2021, 1200-1910 Rt 60 to James River, SOBO AT mm 140723.1 miles4620 gain, 6000 loss Open had suggested I take a zero to attend a concert he was working Saturday night. This sounded fun but I woke feeling the pull of the trail. The weather was supposed to be nice for 2 more days, then rain much of the next week. I just couldn’t waste a good weather day. Plus, I just like being on trail. Tasha let me borrow her computer in the morning, so I was able to get a lot of blog work done. I worked from 0500 until 0830 am. Yes, this blog takes a lot of effort. I ate some bars for[…]

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AT Day 69: Open & Lexington

Friday Oct 1st 2021, 0605-1200 Spy Rock Junction to Rt 60 then Lexington VA, SOBO AT mm 138416.7 miles3100 gain, 4800 loss I hated to leave my perfect campsite so early in the morning but I had places to be. I was meeting my friend Open from the CDT. He lives in Lexington and had reached out to me before I started my hike, offering help if needed. I sent a box of excess food to his house from Duncannon. But mainly I just wanted to see him again. I first met him at trail days in Silver City. Then again departing the Gila River. We camped together that night after a long and lonesome road walk in NM, then[…]

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AT Day 68: Premium Breaks & The Priest

Thursday Sept 30th, 2021, 0625-1940 Near Humpback Rocks to Spy Rock Junction, SOBO AT mm 1367.327 miles7350 gain, 6070 loss My extra miles into the night before paid off. The location set me up for a side trip to Humpback Rocks to watch the sunrise. I stepped up to the rocks just as the first red flash was appearing on the horizon. I couldn’t have timed it better had I been planning it. Funny thing was, we had all planned it the day before, only to be foiled by the fog. This sunrise was the best since my 2nd day on the AT, with sunrise over Katahdin. Patches of fog in the valley and fluffy clouds gave this one that[…]

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AT Day 67: In & Out

Wednesday Sep 29th, 21, 0605-1940                  Calf Mountain Shelter to near Humpback Rocks, SOBO AT mm 1337.516.6 miles3170 gain, 3350 loss All the SOBOs were up early to see the sunrise at a nearby overlook. Problem was, for the first time in nearly a week, the sky was obscured in fog. Mother nature foils our plans again. The 2 couples stayed to have coffee, hoping the fog might burn off. I continued on, having gotten my fill of sunrises from the previous 2 days of road walking. Heading down from the foggy meadow in the gloom of early morning, I came to a confusing trail intersection. I followed white blazes, then was amazed to end up right back at the top[…]

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AT Day 66: On the SOBO Train

Tuesday Sept 28th, 2021, 0615-1830              Hilltop Hut to Calf Mountain Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1321.134.6 miles!7220 gain, 7700 loss I got a smashingly good start on this morning. It was a quick downhill to the first road crossing, where I elected once again to walk the road. The trail went off in the trees while I watched another sunrise across the valley from an overlook. These were plentiful all morning. I was also kept entertained gazing into and over the lush forests. The road allows one to see the canopies at times, as well as the forest floor. I couldn’t get over how vibrant these forests seemed. Some leaves were just starting to turn but overall everything was so very[…]

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AT Day 65: Old Rag

Monday Sept 27th, 2021, 0625-1800              1 mile south of Skyland to Hilltop Hut, SOBO AT mm 1286.727.6 miles5200 gain, 5500 loss My little stealth site was so perfect overnight. Despite my proximity to the resort, there was no trace of its presence. Park regs allow camping up to a quarter mile near a facility, so I was well beyond the range needed. The only man-made sound I heard was a train horn in the distant valley. I left everything far behind in the early morning, popping onto the road to enjoy some smooth asphalt walking in the dark. In this way, I finally got to see a sunrise. Walking the road can actually be a lot farther than the trail,[…]

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AT Day 64: Wayside & Lodge Hopping in Shenandoah

Sunday Sept 26th, 2021, 0615-1920              Compton Peak to 1 mile south of Skyland, SOBO AT mm 1259.232 miles7400 gain, 6600 loss Hooray! I didn’t become another story for the podcast overnight. I was a little disconcerted right up until I left in the morning, though. I slept well with the strong winds drowning out all other noises (for instance, screams). My camp mate was awake and moving about when I woke up, which is kind of strange since I wake up ridiculously early. It was around 4 am and his light was flashing all over. I did my usual morning routine but when I got out of my tent, I noticed that he was packed up but just sitting there.[…]

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AT Day 63: Virginia is for Trail Lovers

Saturday Sept 25th, 2021, 0625-1810              Rod Hollow Shelter to Shenandoah NP, SOBO AT mm 1227.730.5 miles7000 gain, 5220 loss The coyotes were howling overnight. They have such a wide variety of sounds… these ones really could imitate wolves. It was kind of creepy. I slept fitfully too, tossing and turning a lot. I woke up with a migraine, probably because I smacked my head hard on the upstairs bunk while going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But I didn’t let any of these factors stop me from pulling a big day. My goal was to get to Shenandoah National Park by the end. What a delightful trail it was most of the day. Things started off[…]

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AT Day 62: PawPaws

Friday Sept 24th, 2021, 0615-1810              WV/VA border to Rod Hollow Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1197.426.2 miles5800 gain, 6000 loss The crickets lost their edge by the morning, so I was able to hear a bit too much highway noise. I hoped the trail would become more remote soon. It was pretty chilly when I started in the morning. I wore my fleece for awhile. I stopped at the first shelter to use the privy and who should I find still asleep there? Honeydew! He just woke up as I was whispering greetings to another SOBO, Sweet Tea. It was nice to meet up with the both of them. I thought Honeydew would be way far ahead but he’d taken 3[…]

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