Usually I write these from inside the tarp, but tonight I’m sitting out on a rock cliff watching the sunset here. It’s fantastic and makes a tough and sweaty day like today totally worth it.
Anyway, going back to the start of the day chronologically, we had a bunch of big thunderstorms overnight, but stayed dry in the tarp. We hit the trail around 7:15am as we knew we had a big day ahead and we wanted to get closer to Waynesboro tomorrow morning, as we’re taking a zero day there. The storms passed by morning and we ascended and descended The Priest. This ancient cantankerous mountain wasn’t too bad, as we got through it before it got too hot. It was misty and humid however, which gave it even more of an eerie feel.
Once we descended down, we almost immediately started climbing up Three Ridges Mountain. This one was quite tough, as it was rocky and long to go with the very hot and sunny temperatures of the midday. We had to take numerous breaks on the climb up. It did have some good views for all the hard climbing.
After that we had some more rocky hiking down and then back across the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple times. Cedar Cliffs was one highlight that was within 1/2 mile or so of the BRP.
We hiked on and made camp about 100 yards from the first picture in this post. We had some excitement as we setup the tarp. I heard what I assumed was a hiker coming up the trail. It was not a hiker, it was a young bear coming to check things out. It stood right on the AT and gave us a curious look from about 15 feet away and then we came to our senses and started shouting and barking (yup, like a dog) to scare it away. It ran a little bit and then stopped, so we got louder and banged on some more rocks and trees. Then it bolted down the cliff that I sat on to write this post. Hopefully it does not decide to return tonight! We made sure to bear bag (hang stuff from a tree to theoretically keep bears from getting it instead of keeping it in your tent/tarp) everything (food, garbage, toiletries) tonight to be safe though. It got a bit too close for comfort.
Tomorrow we’ve got 12.4 miles to hit Waynesboro, where we are taking the afternoon and all of Thursday off before we hit Shenandoah National Park on Friday.
Vital stats :
Miles hiked today – 23.9
Mood – happy about the big day, a little concerned about our bear pal
Physical state – tired/good
Smell – well it was around 90 degrees today and we hiked 24 miles and climbed up a 4000 ft mountain, so you can probably imagine it’s not so good. I think that the only reason the bear ran was because it caught a whiff of me.
Song stuck in my head – The Warmth by Incubus