Signage and Blissful ready to embark on our week long section hike of the AT.
April 11, 2009
James River to Marble Spring Campsite
We picked up Signage from her car at the Daleville Kroger and drive to our starting point at the James River footbridge, a unique structure built solely for AT hikers to cross the wide James River instead of sharing a bridge with busy traffic. The day started out warm but rapidly turned cold and windy with a new front moving in. had some decent uphill climbs but with nice winter views of the James River along the way. We met up with my husband, Skipper, just shy of the Marble Springs camping area and found a spot, just as a large hiking group came in. The place was packed with over 20 hikers there, but they all ended up fairly quiet, mainly because everyone was so cold. Met section hiker Steps from Michigan. Skipper and I watched the sun set. A cold wind blew through my tent all night.
April 12, Easter Sunday
Marble Springs Campsite to Cornelius Creek Shelter
A cold and blustery night made for a tough morning trying to pack up with iced cold fingers. Did quite a bit of climbing, but thankfully Skipper slacked us for a 3 mile portion of it from Petites Gap to the BRP which made it a bit easier. Still, we did a lot of climbing and very little downhill. When we finally met up with Skipper on the Blue Ridge Parkway, he had a surprise waiting - an Easter feast of genuine crabcakes with asparagus! Doesn't get any better than that! We walked with him to the guillotine rock formation for pictures, then shouldered our packs and headed up and over Apple Orchard Mtn, the highest peak between Clingman's Dome and Mt Moosilauke. Arrived at the shelter and had it to ourselves, though we elected to tent.
Cornelius Creek Shelter to Cove Mtn. Shelter
Left under overcast skies headed for Bryant Ridge shelter and our lunch spot. This is a beautiful tri level shelter with plenty of room for 20 hikers. On and off again sprinkles that didn't amount to much, thank goodness, as trying to hike uphill in raingear is the pits. Arrived at Jennings Creek to fill up at water as the shelter we planned to stay at had none. This made for a tough hike with lots of extra weight and sore leg muscles. Had some groin pain as well, which was new for me. Made good time where we met a NOBO hiker, Jolly Rancher, and his dog. He left though, and we had the place to ourselves. With the pending rain, we elected to stay in the shelter. Signage got a nice fire going, and we had a relaxing evening. Rain held off until later that night and rained all night. Glad to be safe inside.Signage's fire