We had another beautiful day for hiking. The temperatures were in the mid 60s with the humidity much lower than earlier in the week. We also had a brisk breeze. The breeze was strong enough to keep the gnats and flies at bay and to also keep us cool. I was so cool at lunch that I moved into the sun to keep warm. Gene put on his jacket at one point in his hike.
We covered the 9.5 miles from Fish Hatchery Road to highway 56 at the Tye River today. Gene walked north and I walked south again. This time, I had the pleasure of the uphill climb. The 4 miles from Tye River south to the summit of Priest Mountain gains about 3,000 feet. The trail profile looked steep and the guidebook used the word steep several times in its description. I decided my knees would thank me if I did that portion up instead of down.
|Just below the summit of Priest Mountain|
After a 3-hour struggle to the top, I met Gene at The Priest Shelter for lunch. Slow-mosey was there. Gene and I had both seen him on the trail yesterday at different times. It was fun to have lunch and talk with him. He is heading north, of course, and Gene accompanied him down the mountain then gave him a ride into Montebello.
|Lunch break at Priest Shelter|
After lunch, we each headed in our separate directions. One of the “big view” places on the hike today was Spy Rock. Rumor has it that Spy Rock, with its 360 degree view, was used as a Confederate lookout during the Civil War. Gene came to it first since it is located near his starting point at Fish Hatchery Road. Since Spy Rock is a feature off the trail, it was not blazed with an appropriate route to the top. The route he chose turned out to be more dangerous than he wanted to subject himself to. Much later in the day, at the end of my hike, I came to the trail leading to Spy Rock. By that time of the day, and with another 1.5 miles left to hike, I was far too tired to include any extra distance. Besides, it was Saturday afternoon and the place was crawling with people. I wasn’t much in the mood for crowds, so I went on by.
I did have a couple of nice view points today. Perhaps my favorite was the view of Silver Creek Valley from a rocky outcrop nearly 3000 feet up the mountain. I had another great view of the surrounding mountains from Cash Hollow Rocks.
It was a beautiful day and a nice hike, but we are both very tired this evening. I think I’ll sit in the recliner tomorrow.