Friday, April 2, 2010

A Nine-Mile Loop Hike

Today’s hike, I think, was right about our limit.  We combined several trails to create a nine-mile loop.  We parked the truck at the same parking lot we were at on Wednesday.  We started up Schoolhouse Gap trail, turned left on Turkeypen Ridge trail, made another left at Finley Cane trail which took us up to Bote Mountain trail.  We turned left again and headed down hill to the truck.

It was an almost perfect day for a hike.  The sun was bright and the temperatures were in the low 80s. That is almost impossible to imagine since it was winter just last week.  In fact, it was almost too warm to hike.  I would have preferred it to be 10 degrees cooler.

One of four creek crossings

All the trails were in good condition.  All were horse trails, so were somewhat beat up from horse hooves.  That is to be expected, of course.  We’re happy the horsemen are willing to share with us hikers.  On Finley Cane trail there was one blow down which was too large for Gene’s saw.  We had to go around; not much of a problem for us, more so for the horses.  We found one large tree branch blocking our way on Turkeypen Ridge, but Gene quickly took care of it.  We had about 4 creeks to cross.  Previous hikers had laid stepping stones or logs to cross on so we didn’t get wet feet.

Even though we didn’t have any big climbs today, nine miles is still nine miles, and we were eager to get back to the truck.  However, we felt good about being able to do that distance and in only 5 hours--that includes breaks and lunch.

Tomorrow, we are going to drive up to Newfound Gap to spread a little trail magic along the Appalachian Trail.  We’ll need an early start if we want to catch the hikers coming out of Mt. Collins shelter.  I guess that means early to bed tonight.

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