Virginia part 4: Va the final chapter
James River Bridge to Brown Mnt Shelter
After celebrating my 60 trail day in Lynchburg, VA with a zero day my family where I ate as much food as I could and raided my own hiker own for stuff I wanted to swap out I was ready to get back at it. The weather on my zero day was hot and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. However driving back to the trail head it was like the rain was waiting on me. We all get it VA you like the rain. I hiked for about and hour and then the torrential downpour started. During the hike there have been several times where I was 5 miles away from anywhere with no place to hide from the rain so I just had to walk. I had rain jacket and newly acquired rain pants on and the rain poured. It’s strange because you can never tell of your rain gear works because as soon as you put it on you get drenched in sweat while hiking. I walked about 13 miles with waterlogged shoes and wet underwear. The question of whether it was sweat or rain that did it is still up for debate . They definitely didn’t put that as one of the things to look forward to on the AT beneath a summit picture. I trudged 20 miles and stopped at a shelter to camp where I met some new people. Also hit 800 miles, so you can say it was a good day all in all.
I woke up a little late at brown mnt shelter. I didn’t get much sleep in the hammock I switched too. I hiked through the day and while there were a few big climbs the day was great due to the lack of rain alone. I got to hog back gap around lunch time and a group of people having a memorial day picnic invited me to join. It was pretty good I got to the shelter prior to the priest at 430 and decided to hike to Spy Rock campsite. This turned out to be a good choice since o was able to catch the sunset on top of Spy Rock with other thru hikers staying in the same campsite. Having a little break in the rain was a welcome occurrence.
Woke up on time and was able to get everything packed away. I set out towards the priest shelter and about 25 minutes into my hike I saw bear number three in a clearing a little ways up from me. I also saw a turkey later on. I hiked to the famous priest shelter where thru hikers confess their sins. Most of them are related to number ones and twos where there not supposed to be but there were some other good ones that a trip to the shelter will be in order to browse. After the priest I set off into the three ridges . For the first time in a while the day was gonna consist of one long grind of a climb. I ate lunch before the first big climb. After making the first climb to the shelter I saw a snake sun bathing near where you cross the stream to get to the shelter. The climb to the top of three ridges was as advertised and it took a had full of sour patch kids to get me to the top. There wasn’t much of a view after the steep rocky climb so it won’t make my day hike list. I made my way down a little and over bee mountain to land at Maupin Field for the night. Again no rain except some sprinkles in the early morning so another good weather day for hiking.
After a night at Maupin Field where everyone stayed out of the shelter due to a large black snake I was ready to make my way to Waynesboro. The day was great all the way up until about an hour when it started pouring down rain. This was a pretty long day but it ended with going to stay at Stanimals in Waynesboro. This is a great place that features a trip to the Ming Chinese buffet. The hostel also has everything for hikers and also takes hikers to the grocery store to avoid all the walking that hikers usually do in Waynesboro.
This day was the first day I set off into the Shenandoah’s after a quick trip to McDonalds. The first day was long and water was scarce the stretch of 10 miles after the first shelter but the weather was awesome.
When we arrived at Blackrock Hut a couple came and brought trail magic to all the hikers at the shelter . The best part was they were setting up trail magic the next day in loft mnt campground. I woke up this day and went to this trail magic. It was awesome. This couple were the parents of a former thru hiker and had chilli dogs and drinks for everyone. This was another great day of hiking. Missed the first wayside but the awesome trail magic made up for it.
This was the longest day so far in the Shenandoahs but it included a visit to the largest wayside and also a trip to the lodge tap room. Also saw bear number 4 and two more deer. This was the first buck I had seen on my hike. Also got a little lost on the way to the way side and did two bonus miles.
Another great day in the Shenandoah’s. It was super nice to not have any rain!
The last day in the Shenandoah’s, it was a great time in the park, the rain held off until the last couple of miles to the hostel right before Front Royal, Va. Front Royal terrapin hostel. This hostel is ran by Mike who who hiked the AT and PCT back in the days when it was rough. It’s a nice hostel and I recommend staying there if you are passing through .
After a quick resupply we were on our way towards the roller coaster and Harpers Ferry. Another great day for hiking.
Manassas Gap to Sam Moore
Woke up early because it was roller coaster day. I hiked all morning and eventually made it to rod hollow shelter, which is right before the starting sign of the roller coaster. The roller coaster is a 14 mile stretch of hills with no view. After lunch we started the roller coaster and if the hills weren’t enough it started to rain. We finished off our 20 for the day and set up camp to hike another day.
Finished off the roller coaster and had a short day to the awesome David Lesser shelter. It has a pourch swing and a giant campground and a deer population that is very curious of campers.
A short day to get the third required pic at Harpers Ferry and with these days Va was over and I’ll have to say I enjoyed it no Va blues for me at all looking forward to the north!
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