Northbound on the A.T.

As I suspected, received more updates on Jack today. Seems that the e-mail updates only cover 4-5 days at a time. Keeps the e-mails and thus these posts from being too long.

April 8, 2008 Dickey Gap to Mt. Rogers NRA Headquarters (14.6 miles)
It was a foggy, chilly morning. The mountain I climbed didn’t seem so steep with legs fresh from a night’s rest. Today’s beauty spot was a foot bridge over the South Fork of the Holston River. With a bank of daffodils and forsythia in the background, I couldn’t resist making a picture. I will leave the Sugar Grove Diner tomorrow to continue North on the A.T.

April 9, 2008 Mt. Rogers NRA Headquarters to US11/VA683 (11.5 miles)
Today was a beautiful sunny day, a good one for hiking. I saw hiker friends on the trail and got photos of Launch Pad and the couple who are UGA grads (Green Blaze and Rose). About a dozen thru-hikers are here at The Relax Inn on the AT in Rural Retreat, VA. I got here early to get some clothes washed. I knew it was time when I had to hold my breath to put my shirt on this morning! We’ll be at a shelter tomorrow night. A cold front is moving in this week-end with possible snow. Winter please go away. (Below Top: Launch Pad, Bottom: Green Blaze and Rose)

April 10, 2008 US 11/VA683 to Maul Knob Branch Shelter (13.9 miles)
Today was long and hot with a tough climb at the end. I’m done for the day, but 3 young thru-hikers are resting here for a few hours and want to push on to the next shelter. We’ll see if they actually do it. No cell phone service here so I can’t speak with Elaine. I’ll read a little, have dinner, and go to sleep. I expect tomorrow to be a long day.
April 11, 2008 Knot Maul Branch Shelter to Jenkins Shelter (19.0 miles)
It was a long hot day with a big mountain to climb this morning. The afternoon was hot with lots of climbing. I ran out of water with about 3 miles to go to the shelter, but came across a spring about 2 miles later – an answer to prayer! The shelter is full of thru-hikers tonight (photo below)- good guys and girl (married to one of the guys). No cell phone service here – I’ll try to reach Elaine again tomorrow.

April 12, 2008 Jenkins Shelter to US 21/52 (near Bland, VA) (11.5 miles)
Today is a short hike to the highway and a hitch hike into Bland, VA where I’m staying at the Big Walker Motel. I plan a rest day tomorrow because of predicted cold weather and snow and because I’m tired. I’ve hiked 120 miles in the last 8 days. Most of my thru-hiker friends are not stopping so I’ll lose contact with them at least for now. The shelter was full last night with hikers and mosquitoes. Fortunately I had a small net for my head and this, along with my sleeping bag, kept them off me. I spent the afternoon doing some hiker shopping and hand washing my clothes. There is no laundry in the town. I’ll rest now and see shat happens with the weather.

April 13-14, 2008 Bland VA
This is the second rest and weather day I’ve taken. Both yesterday and today there was a mix of rain, sleet, and snow with temperatures in the 32 to 45 degree range. I enjoyed the rest yesterday, but today I’ve been anxious to be back on the trail. It’s supposed to be warming up tomorrow with no further precipitation for a few days. A shuttle will take me back to the AT early tomorrow. I hope to make it to Pearisburg, VA, in 2 ½ -3 days.



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