Day 33 -April 9 2017- 12.4 miles (including side trails) – Newfound Gap to Pecks Corner
The weather forecast was good so I planned the next section to account for some side trails that looked interesting.
On the ride back to the trail the same time lapse effect happened, but this time in reverse. It went from late spring to late winter in 15 miles.
The parking lot was full of day hikers and tourists. We went into “thru hiker mode” and established a quick pace to put some distance between us and the crowds.
There was still snow on the trail and in some parts ice. But none of that mattered. We were back on the trail, there were blue skies, and the temps were a lot warmer than when we left the trail.
After almost 3 miles we got to our first side trail. A 0.6 mile jaunt to “The Jumpoff”. A cliff with good views.
After The Jumpoff we stopped by Icewater Spring shelter for a snack.
Soon after we got to the south end of the Charlies Bunion Loop side trail. It was a short trail that led to a stone monolith called Charlies Bunion.
There were several hikers there enjoying the view. There wasn’t any wind and the sunshine felt really good. We decided it was a good spot to eat lunch. While we were eating we began to talk to the other hikers. We were talking to a mother and daughter who were out for a day of hiking. Long story short, we come to find out that they were from a town that was about 30 minutes away from where we lived.
To get back to the AT we could either go back the way we came or contine on the Charlies Bunion loop trail. The loop trail looked interesting so we kept going.
The north end of the loop trail joined back up with the AT 0.1 miles from where we originally left the AT to do Charlies Bunion. We bypassed 0.1 miles of the Appalachian Trail. By our our rules, this was not allowed. So we hiked south on the AT 0.1 miles and then turned around and hiked north again.
It seemed most of the day hiker only went to Charlies Bunion and then turned back. After we left Charlies Bunion we didn’t see another soul until the end of the day.
We were on the lookout for what the guide book described as a ” unmarked side trail” to the original Charlies bunion trail. Soon we came to what looked like a rocky water runoff on our left hand side. ” Could this be it?” we wondered. We decided to check it out.
The path we were on seemed to be a trail. It was also pretty steep. We dropped our packs and headed up. I’m glad we did. The views were gorgeous and there was no one else around.
The views coming back down the unmarked trail were pretty good too.
For the next 5 or 6 miles we walked on a ridge line with views on both sides. It was fantastic. Any lingering thoughts of the craziness of Galinburg were completely vanquished.
We got to our stopping place for the night a little while later. We setup and had dinner. I turned in to go to bed while Stoat stayed out a little longer. I was almost asleep when I heard Stoat greet someone. It was Neapolitan! I wanted to talk to him but I was also half asleep. I figured I would talk to him in the morning, and fell asleep.