Maupin Field Shelter, Va., AT NOBO mile 837.0, Tuesday April 1, 2014 — Got myself vertical at the crack of dawn knowing I had a big day in store.
I wanted to hike 20 miles today to reduce tomorrow’s haul from 22 to 18. That sets up an easy jaunt into Rockfish Gap/Waynesboro where this adventure kicked off last September 24.
Today was the last of the trail candy – a dandy mountain called The Priest. I understand there are others nearby in the genre named the Bishop and Rabbi.
An unusual rock formation atop The Priest may account for its name. The adjacent shelter is known as a place where hikers confess their sins in the shelter log. Unfortunately it was both fairly new and soggy. Nothing salacious and I couldn’t write in it. Another “Oh fer.”
Unlike the weather forecast, the morning started cold and cloudy, but around eleven everything changed. Today’s temp on the trail eventually reached a whopping 75 big ones!
Concurrently the wow factor kicked in. At an overlook I noticed for the first time that GREEN was visible in the fields. Old Man Winter you can vote against green all you want, but your gloomy brown and white can’t hang on much longer. You’re outa here dude. Wow.
Shortly thereafter I stumbled on a familiar face in the form of two hikers, Tracy McG, who thru hiked last year, and her sister are hiking all the way in the form of a double “flip flop.” They started at Harpers Ferry headed to Georgia. When they reach Springer Mountain, the southern terminus, they’ll flip to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, the northern terminus, and head south to Harpers Ferry for their finish.
All in all, it was a fine day.