Day 56 – near Cash Hollow Road to Humpback Mountain view/campsite

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.


View from Humpback Mountain that I'm looking at as I write this blog post

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.


Misty cloudy view from The Priest

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.


Views near Three Ridges Mountain

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.


Clouds and countryside from Cedar Cliffs

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

5 thoughts on “Day 56 – near Cash Hollow Road to Humpback Mountain view/campsite

  1. Joann Adams

    We just got back from our southern trip, so your pics look beautifully familiar. Much more
    relaxing to look at those views after leaving your car & “hiking” to the Scenic Overlook! I
    kept saying to Curt: “I can’t believe Katie & Joel are climbing up these monsters!” So sorry we couldn’t manage to take you to dinner with us — we had a truly wonderful meal in
    Harrisonburg — I know you would’ve enjoyed it! (To be brutally honest, however, it was quite
    pricey, so I’d have to say my credit card heaved a small sigh of relief!) We did share a picnic
    table for lunch on the BRP with a former thru-hiker & friend — both lovely lads — & bought
    them some beers, so maybe that counts for something!
    Keep scaring away those bears — & the friggin’ ticks! (I picked 2 of them off me in the
    shower this a.m. before going to work!
    You guys are dynamite!!

  2. Mom - Tapey

    Your photos are extraordinary! Thank you for sharing the wonderful views and your hiking stories. You have generously taken us all along on your hike and you and Katie are doing all the work!! We are very much looking forward to seeing you at the end of June. Enjoy your well-earned time off in Waynesboro! Stay safe and healthy. Sending happy, restful thoughts, prayers and lots of love.

  3. "D"

    Wow that’s sooooo exciting..a close encounter. Aren’t they cute!!! Glad Mama was no where to be found. Unless you mean it was just young enough to be on it’s own? Hope you enjoy your zero day in Waynesboro!


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