18 January 2011

Winter-time AT trek - Rt. 60 South to Rt. 501

Lemma, Luke, and I set out Friday morning from the Long Mountain Wayside on Rt. 60 heading south on the Appalachian trail to finish up on the James River at Rt. 501 near Snowden for our Winter 2011 backpacking trip. Last year's trip was chronicled here. Temps were cool, and below freezing the first night, but the sun was shining during the day, which made for some nice, warm hiking.

Here is a map of our trek!

South Bound from Rt 60 to 501. Brown Mountain, Rice Mountain, Bluff Mountain, Big Rocky Row.

The crew, getting dropped off...


Squids....really?....Ok....

Remnants of old sharecropper lands along Brown Mountain Creek

Brown Mountain Creek gets larger as we get closer to Pedlar Reservoir...


We passed some large old trees going through an old USFS experimental forest site...

The view of Bluff Mountain through the trees on Rice Mountain, we will make top bald on Bluff the next day...

Luke looks on at tomorrow's task after the tough climb up Rice Mountain....

Lemma hiking through the tunnel of the surrounding growth...

Chilling by the fire at Punchbowl Shelter. It was cold, and our water bottles were beginning to freeze! The sky was beautifully clear!

The old fire watch tower site on top of Bluff Mountain...

Onward towards Big Rocky Row and down off the ridge...

The trail really flows along the contour of the mountain between Salt Log and Saddle Gap on the Three Sisters side of the mountain..makes me wish there were bicycle trails on this side of the mountain...so many possibilities...

Luke taking in the view of the James River below...


Holding strong on the edge of the cliffs of Big Rocky Row, with the best view of all the trees...

A cool view of the ripples in the mountain off the side as we descended off Big Rocky Row...

Lemma down below on of the tight switchbacks...

We were into the warmth of the fire after a long day's hike. It was quite a bit warmer on night two...

But still clear enough to walk around without a headlamp, and to take this eerie moon-lit picture...

Mid morning on the James River Foot Bridge as we await our pick up!

Ice on the James!

Another great winter backpacking trip! Always good to get out on foot. I was glad to get to further explore this section of the George Washington National Forest.  

04 January 2011

Some time in the snow

Happy New Year! - A little late, I know!!
























We had some good snow for a bit here in VA and WV had some great snow. Got in some hiking on Terrapin Mountain and spent the better part of last week in Canaan Valley snowboarding, skiing, and even a little hiking as well. 

Canaan Valley got some warmer temps and some rain later in the week that hurt the snow, but it will come back. I surely hope so, it was so good early this season. Heading back up there in a few weeks!

Bikes Unlimited is moving this weekend to the new downtown location! Gonna be a busy move weekend, but the new spot will be great!

Got several cool backpacking trips coming up soon!