First Freeze, Foliage and Above 4K

Day 105

We woke up early and packed up quickly.  We decided to try a different strategy this morning, instead of our usual coffee and breakfast first thing we decided for some breakfast on the go. We finally got the Carnation Instant breakfast to mix with water. We drank and then hiked 1 mile to shelter which provided water, picnic table and privy for our very early second breakfast.

We arrived at Maupin shelter and were surprised by the number of tents and people sitting around the shelter area. We realized what day it was…saturday…the weekend warrior bubble. We sat for a longer second breakfast and chatted with the other hikers. Soups turned up at the picnic table and we caught up with him. We last saw him in Duncannon, PA. He also took a few days off trail in Harpers Ferry.

We took off and officially started the day. Not sure if we liked our change up in routine but you have to keep it interesting and try new things. We moved slowly through the rockier terrain, enjoyed views from three ridges and made some friends with the stick bugs.  The ridge walk was very enjoyable and the sun was shining. Many day hikers and trail runners were out which tells us this is a popular hike in the area.

It was a more challenging day we’ve had in a while with over 6500 feet of ascent. We made our way up to the summit of Mount Priest. The switchbacks were very nice and allowed us to cruise. This is also our first 4000 foot summit since Killington in Vermont. We were happy to be at higher elevation again.

We made our way down to the Priest shelter. This is another well known spot on trail due to the hiker log. Since you are at Mount Priest it is tradition to confess your trail sins in the hiker log for all to see. We enjoyed reading the trail sins and confessions, we even recognized some names. The most common sins you will see are hikers peeing in a pit privy (it upsets the chemical breakdown process, moldering privies are the ones you can pee in) or not digging cat holes at least 6 inches (leaving excrement too close to the surface or not buried at all). However some were pretty unique and amusing like “I pretend to be nice to NOBOs but I secretly hate them” or “I shamelessly pooped on the side of the road in full view of cars driving by”.

Hayley confessed to eating Eric’s granola bars without him knowing. Eric confessed to taking 2 PBRs from a trail magic cooler in Caratunk Maine (the kind thing would have been to just take one).

We finished our day with some more views of ridgelines and farmland. We love seeing the changing leaves but could due without the acorns falling. It’s a lot like slipping on marbles when you are cruising downhill, not to mention getting popped in the head. The chipmunks and squirrels must be in heaven right now.

It was a cold night, our first night below freezing.  Good thing about colder temps is colder water. The days of the summer warm water are a thing of the past. Every sip is refreshing now! We met another SOBO thru-hiker named Fallout. We had a warm meal and chatted with her bit. We debated having a fire but ultimately decided to seek the warmth of our tent. We snuggled up in our amazingly warm sleeping bags and had a comfortable night.

Day 106

We decided to sleep in a little since there was still a chill in the air. We enjoyed some hot coffee and started a small fire. Luckily the day started to warm up and we headed out.

The terrain was very gentle and we enjoyed many views from the grassy bald ridgelines. More hikers were out and we took many breaks at several views.  We found a wild apple tree and enjoyed some fresh fruit.

We made our way to shelter and had a nice big fire. We slept next to a flowing creek and enjoyed the sounds of water all night.

Day 107

We had breakfast and chatted with some of the other weekend hikers a bit. This stretch seems to be a popular long weekend loop. We had another day of great views and climbs with switchbacks. The folliage is on it’s way to peaking. We did notice the leaves turn much slower down in Virginia. You could have long stretches of color before the leaves fall whereas up north it’s a much quicker progression. Sometimes you can even miss the peak color if you are away for a couple days.

We hit 1400 miles today! Crazy how these milestones keep flying by! We had a view of the James River and made contact with Charlie who runs Stanimals Hiker hostel in Glasgow (sister location to Waynesboro). We weren’t planning on stopping again so soon but Hootenanny raved about this hostel so we had to give it a shot. Hiker hostels are a big part of the Appalachian Trail experience and we have only done 4 so far and we are planning to do a bit more now that we are on the backend. Charlie will pick us up bright and early tomorrow morning.

We got in to camp and made another fire. We enjoyed eating all the food in our food bags knowing we would be able to resupply soon. We went to sleep dreaming about town again, twice in one week!

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?