10 April 2021. Day 13. 15.6 miles + 143.8 miles = 159.4 miles. Rock Point Overlook to Rockfish Gap. Steady As She Goes!!!

🎼It’s A Beautiful Morning🎼

The morning was as rewarding as the evening sunset. The sun had just begun to peak over the mountain range to my East. In the middle of the night I had gotten up about 0140 and found myself looking down into the valley below. All the town lights were gone. How could that be? Surely there would be at least street lights. The stars were extremely bright…… it was clear. It took a moment before I realized that there was fog hanging over the towns. If you looked closely you could see a muted light below. It was actually quite impressive. The morning picture above shows the fog still there.

Rocking My Tent Stakes to Stay Put

I would miss this site. It had been my “finally a view” haven. The only down side was that it was a bear to find a way to get the tent stakes in through the rocks. The solution? Find a bit of dirt, push as far as you could and place rocks on the lines.

I was on the trail at 07:42

The View from Cedar Cliffs: 08:18

The day began with a climb and I soon found myself at Cedar Cliffs. From left to right the view was wonderful until I got to the far right. What was that? Fog, clouds…… I proceeded about 0.1 miles and I was in rain. And that’s the way it remained most of the day. I had been granted a night and morning of bad weather reprieve.

This Spring Came With a Warning of who I Would be Sharing it With

It also warns you to boil, filter or add tablets to your water.

I Guess That They Got Tired of Replacing Wooden Signs

This was the first time I had seen metal directions. I had to stoop down and squint to figure out what it said.

And Yes…… There are Bears

Although I remain without a bear sighting. So far 7 deer…..

09:51. A Reminder of New England

As I climbed I came upon this stone wall built many years ago. It ran all the way across the top of the mountain. It must have been a good attempt to clear a field but it must have failed. The hiking was very rocky and the area on both sides of the trail was so rocky it was difficult to imagine the land being used for either crops or livestock grazing.

10:07. Wintergreen View at Mile Marker 851.9

This is your first beautiful view after Cedar Cliffs. They tell me that somewhere out there you can see Wintergreen Ski slopes. Notice how close to the edge of the cliff the trail runs.

Butter

Do you remember the older guy that The Dude, King Whistle and I met the day before? The one who hikes 24 miles a day? When it began raining the day before he opted to seek shelter with The Dude an King Whistle in Maulpin Shelter. It was massively foggy and wet and I had slipped past them. I ended up at my perfect site in perfect weather about 5 miles ahead of them. And yet here he was already caught up with me.

10:51 Humpback Rocks on Humpback Mountain at Mile Marker 852.9

This is the point at which Butter caught up with me. It’s another of those camera opportunities and, as you can see, is more beautiful than the last one at Wintergreen.

12:50 Just Because it was There

14:05 The First Hint of a View

15:24. Evidence of Appalachian Life Years Ago

I was under 4 miles to go to meet the shuttle at this point in time. I was shooting for 5 pm because it called for heavy rain after that. They told me that the final miles of this section were flat and I had counted on that. If they think that was flat they are badly disoriented. In spite of that I forced myself to up my pace on the ups and protected my knees on the downs. I had set an alarm for 5……. it was ringing as a reached the shuttle. Red Beard was there waiting for me. “I guess you must be on time” Yup.

He told me that we had to wait on a female hiker called CVS who was slack packing 27 miles. She was going to be a half hour late. Rats!!!! I wanted a shower and food. She arrived at 5:30. “Oh, if I had known you guys were waiting for me I’d have come on. I’ve been talking to a guy across the highway!” Grrrrrr

She looked like she had hiked 27 feet instead of 27 miles. I could barely move after my 15.6 miles.

When we got to the hostel we were met by a decent looking young man. Well no, he was good looking. She lit up. “Roadrunner, I thought you were going to be hiking with your girlfriend.” She said.

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” he responded. I watched their aha moment and got out of the way. They had dinner together. Looks like a trail romance in the making.

As for me I found a bunk, took a shower, pulled off two more attached ticks, did laundry and bought a really bad meal. While in the restaurant it began to pour and I was trapped there. After about 30 minutes freezing and damp under their roof overhang I made a break for it. I didn’t know I could run that far. But….. I couldn’t run faster than those dang raindrops. After managing to beat the rain to the shuttle I got soaked eating supper. The only thing to do was to crawl into my bunk. I’d need to be warm and dry before it was time to hike on.

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