Day 76

Day 76 May 22 – 15.1 miles – Glasgow VA to mile 800

In the morning Zeus and Flashfire decided to try to hitchhike back to the trail while Scarecrow, Stoat and I called a shuttle.

It took what felt like forever for the shuttle to show up.  By the time the three of us got back on the trail it was almost 11 AM.  Zeus and Flashfire were long gone by then.

The trail almost immediately started to head uphill.  We had a fairly steep 2300 foot climb ahead of us.  The weather was hot and humid and it was taking its toll on us.

Luckily there were a few views on the way up.

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Towards the top of the climb I called out in surprise.  For a second I thought I saw a snake.  Stoat was just ahead of me and he turned around to see what the commotion was all about.  It wasn’t a snake, it was a Skink. It was a little over a foot long and seemed content to hang out on the side of the trail.  It didn’t care that we were there at all.

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After the climb the trail leveled off somewhat.  We had more tree cover and enjoyed the coolness that the shade provided.

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After a few easy miles we had  a 700 foot climb to the top of Bluff Mountain.  Near the top was a monument dedicated to a four year old child who got lost in the woods.

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After passing the monument we came to a place that had a tower of some sort located there.  The onle thing left were a few concrete pylons.  Stoat, Scarecrow, and I each sat on one, ate a snack, and enjoyed the view.

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The view from Bluff Mountain

 

On the way down the mountain we went through large groves of mountain laurels.

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When we were approaching our final road crossing of the day we kept an eye out for the campsite that was listed in the guide book.  It was supposed to be 0.2 miles before the road.  When we got to the road without seeing it we became confused.

We went a little farther down the trail.  On the ground we saw another mile marker.  Stoat and I crossed it at the same time and exchanged a high five.

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Stoat didn’t think the mile marker was good enough so he made a few alterations.

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After the mile marker we came to a suspension bridge.

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While the bridge was pretty cool, it also meant that we had gone too far.  We dropped our packs and looked around for a campsite.

The wording on the guidebook was a little vague.  It said, “Reservoir Road.  Campsite 0.2 miles south of road.”  Maybe it meant down the road.  Stoat walked down the road one way and I went the other.  No luck.

We were hot, tired, and hungry and in no mood to go any further so we looked around for suitable places to set up camp.  Scarecrow found a small grassy area where he could set up his tent.  Stoat and I could not find any good spot to hang our hammocks.  There was dense underbrush everywhere.  We eventually decided that we would have to, “go to the ground” for the first time.

Using our trekking poles as tent poles we were able to fashion a tent like structure out of our rain tarps.  We were also able to use the bug netting from our hammocks to ward off any insects that might want to bother us during the night.

Once that was set up we got to cooking dinner.  As we were cooking, several other hikers came by looking for the same campsite.  They wound up camping in the same grassy area that Scarecrow was in.

Stoat and I set our alarms for earlier than usual.  It was supposed to rain in the morning and we hoped to be all packed up by then.

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