Days 28 through 30

Day 28 onward from Stanimals in Daleville

Hiked today 20.8 total ascent 4275
A pancake, donut, and fruit breakfast is included at Stanimal’s  hostel. So for breakfast I had two frosted donuts, four pancakes with maple syrup, an orange, a banana and about 4 cups of coffee.. It was delicious and I felt like I got enough calories to get going.

This is my first real view since I left Shenandoah. It’s about 6 miles south from Waynesboro. I’m not sure what mountain it is and I think I’m only about halfway up, but it’s beautiful view right off the trail.

This is the view from the Glass Hollow overlook which is about 0.2 miles off the trail. I think the extra mileage was well worth it. I’m going to sit here and have some lunch.

The According to the FarOut app, I’m about to climb humpback mountain a 1500 foot ascent over the course of almost 5 miles. It looks pretty gradual so I’d call it a fairly easy climb, even on a full stomach!  We’ll see.

Update: Humpback Mountain was challenging both up and down!  It was steep and it was rocky.

The next two photos are from Humpback Rocks. The first photo is looking north toward the Shenandoah’s. The second photo is looking out towards Waynesboro.

This is a picture from much lower altitude. You can see Waynesboro off to the right and just to the left of center. Is it what I believe is a giant Amazon warehouse.

I arrived at Maupin Field Shelter around 5:30 PM.  There was a tent with one guy and a young couple who had pitched there standalone tent inside the shelter.  I had a great conversation with the couple.  They are living a unique and fun life moving around the country and having adventures while still working.  The guy works in oil fields and goes all over the country on short assignments.  They were smart, interesting,  and fun to talk to.

Day 29 less miles more climbing, and trail magic

Total hiked 13.8 total ascent 4960

Today I went over two large mountains. The first mountain called Three Ridges topped out at about 3900 feet.  Thankfully I only had to ascend 1200 feet since I started at 2700. The second mountain known as The Priest tops out at over 4000. Before starting up this mountain, I descended all the way to 900 feet above sea level, so I had to climb over 3100 feet to reach the top.

These next three pictures are from a lookout on the way up Three Ridges. The last picture looks up at the mountain top for Three Ridges and shows how the Appalachian Trail will follow the ridges down to a low point only 800 feet above sea level.

This is a view of the valley as you come down from Three Ridges. This is well down the mountain and you can see we’re not nearly as high up, but it’s a beautiful view of the valley.

I got my first trail magic today. A hiker from New Jersey, my home state, bought some things and was giving them away in the parking lot at the low point between Three Ridges and The Priest. This is a picture of me with Worm Queen my first trail magic queen on the trail.

This is the view from about 2/3 of the way up The Priest. It’s looking east you can see the beautiful valley and the mountains off in the distance.

There was a group of people here with a woman, trail name Rainbow, who gave me more trail magic including, bananas, apples, and chocolate chip cookies.  Two trail magics in one day!  Fresh fruit is a real treat on the trail because it’s hard to carry.

The last two pictures are in two different directions from the ledges, which is a rocky outcrop near the top of The Priest.  Just beautiful.

As I’m finishing this I’m in my tent at The Priest shelter.  I only hiked 13.8 miles today but it took over 8 hours because of the challenging ascents and the long rocky 3000 foot descent.  I could have gone further but I was tired and I wanted to give my body a little extra recovery time.

Day 30 shooting for 22 1/2 miles

Hiked today 22.4 total ascent 4084

After I sealed myself up in my tent last night about five people arrived maybe around 8:00 or 830 to sleep in the shelter. Of course they were all northbound. I’ve only encountered about two southbound both either much slower than me or only section hiking. I got on the trail this morning after having my breakfast of two packets of oatmeal two pop tarts and a coffee, at 6:50 AM.

This is the first view of the day, it is about 4 miles into my hike and you can see why there’s no cell service around here.

I’m at Spyrock, a sort of dome that has a true 360° view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I struggle with how to convey this in the blog which has limited file size for pictures, under 10 MB. The four pictures below are taken facing north east south and west.

At Salt Log Gap I hit some real trail magic. A pretty famous guy, trail name, Fresh Ground, runs trail magic out of his van and migrates around with the northbound hikers and then a little bit back south. He has lots of great food, including fresh cut deep fried french fries . I had oranges, two hotdogs, a delicious rice dish, coffee, Gatorade, and of course his fries. He also had extra hotdogs and he gave me two in buns in a Ziploc bag which I ate for dinner.  Fresh ground is well known to almost all of the through hikers.

After my delicious trail magic, I hiked pretty much uphill for a mile north of Salt Log Gap and was greeted by this great view deep in the Appalachian Mountains.

This is the Vista out over the mountains from Coal Mountain. Bald, it’s a bit hazy, but you can see the mountains pretty far off.

A view from near the top of Bald Knob, a 4000 foot mountain about 4 miles before the shelter I’ll be staying at tonight.

Tonight I’ll be staying at The Priest Shelter, Which is near the top of a 4000 foot mountain. The final climb of The Priest was the longest single ascent that I’ve made on this hike. It went from 900 feet above sea level to over 4000 feet above sea level in a 4 mile hill. I finally arrived at the shelter around 6:30. I found a nice space, set up, ate my two hotdogs and went to sleep.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?