Friday, May 7, 2010

Salt Log Gap to Fish Hatchery Road

Yesterday was pretty much a day of chores interspersed with periods of rest.  Nothing special to report there.

Today we were back on the trail.  Gene dropped me off at Fish Hatchery Road this morning, then he drove around to Salt Log Gap.  He hiked north while I hiked south.

With today’s hike, Gene is at his northern-most point from his last hike along the AT.  He has spent the past several years “re-hiking” the first 800 miles of this trail with me.  Today, he walked through between Salt Log and Fish Hatchery instead of turning around and hiking back to the car with me.

Salt Log Gap, by the way, gets its name from the practice of cutting a notch in a fallen log and filling it with salt for the cattle--a forerunner of the salt lick.  Fish Hatchery Road, as you might guess, is the road where the state fish hatchery is located.

Fish Hatchery Road, now renamed Spy Rock Road, is a dirt road closed to motorized vehicles except for the homeowners living along the road.  The trail, unfortunately is a mile up the road.  Foot travel is permitted, so I walked around the gate and headed uphill.  Once I reached the trail, I had a pretty easy go of it today.  The trail was mostly level or downhill for my hike.  Of course, Gene felt like he had hiked uphill all day.

Easy hiking was the highlight for today.  There were still some trillium blooming and a few azaleas, but otherwise it was just an ordinary woods walk.  There were no great views and even the forest didn’t seem very exciting.

Even though our hike was relatively short, it was still 5 o’clock when we got home.  Both ends of the section were several miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Salt Log is several miles from the parkway and then 4 miles down a gravel road.  After I picked up Gene at Fish Hatchery, we then drove another 9 miles down route 56 to where the trail crosses the Tye River.  This will be where I park the car tomorrow and I wanted to know where the parking lot was located.  All that driving around made a very long day.

That’s it for today. Time to get the kitchen cleaned up and get my pack ready for tomorrow.

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