Yesterday morning the Princess dropped me off at 8:30 a.m. at Route 56 where the AT crosses and then goes North over the Tye River. I was really sad to leave her and stayed in a funk for a while. But there is something about walking that helps you get over the blues.
It was raining when I started out but it stopped soon after I started climbing up from the Tye River and I took off my rain gear and was able to hike in shorts and a t-shirt until about 5:00 p.m. when the rain started back up.
The climb up Three Ridges is a hard one and on a clear day your effort is rewarded with great views. Yesterday I was in the clouds and the visibility was 100 yards at best, so I didn’t get the views. The same thing happened later in the day when I climbed Humpback Mountain.
I did see a lot of other people on the trail despite the bad weather. About a dozen trail maintainers from the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club were out clearing blowdowns and cleaning out cut-outs to improve drainage. They are really dedicated and hardworking folks. Everyone who uses the trail benefits from their work. There were also several groups of Boy Scouts, some weekend backpackers, day hikers, and a few thru-hikers, but no one I knew.
I made it to the Paul C. Wolfe shelter at 6:30 and decided to stay in the shelter rather than pitch my tent in the rain. There was a nice group of hikers at the shelter and I enjoyed talking to them as I cooked my dinner. As usual everyone went to bed early and I enjoyed reading using my new Nook electronic reader that my mother-in-law, Jackie, got me as an early birthday present. I hope to do a lot more reading now and I’m currently reading ‘The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot”. Thanks Jackie, I love the Nook!
I enjoyed the sound of the rain on the shelter’s metal roof all night long. It’s still raining this morning but not as hard. I’m heading out early and walking 22.5 miles to the Rip Rap Trail in Shenandoah National Park. Then I’ll take that side trail to Buzzy and Charlene’s house where I will stay with them for the night. I haven’t seen them for a while and I’m looking forward to seeing them late this afternoon.