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AT - VA Rockfish Gap to Tye River
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“Well after being run out of TN by closed roads, I arrived back in VA with a few extra days to spare, so HiMaintenance and i decided to head out west and hike another section of the AT.
Friday night we dumped her car off at RT56 and drove to Rockfish Gap via some winding dirt road, that dumped us off onto Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Love's Gap.
The weather forecast called for thunderstorms Fri night, followed by beautiful weather for the weekend. Unfortunately, as we learned in TN, the weather guys don't have a clue.
We hiked the 5 miles into the Paul Wolfe Shelter in 90 minutes, getting there at 4:15. We were surprised to see that no one was there. We got set up, and were making dinner, when Billy Goat showed up. He is a thu-hiker from GA.
We played cards and drank a little hootch until 10:00 and then went to sleep. It rained a little during the night, but when we awoke Saturday, I realized we weren't going to see the nice weather. It was cold, damp, foggy and rainy...The wind gusts were as bad as those we had in TN. Quite frankly, it sucked... We had absolutely no views at Humpback Rocks.
The rocks were slick and the going was slow. There were no views, and visibilty at some times was about 25 yards. We trudged on for a while, and for the first time in awhile I actually wished that I wasn't on the trail.
Our original plan was to hit the Harper's Creek Shelter, but about 11 miles into the hike, I turned to HM and asked her if she was up for the 25 miles to get us back to RT 56.. and so we decided to make this a training hike for the hike across Maryland.
The trail was in great condition except for the wet rocks. There were few blow downs..
We arrived at the Maupin Field Shelter at 2:00 and ate lunch. 8.5 miles to go. After eating we proceeded south. We arrived at the summit of 3 Ridges at about 3:15 and started out decent. About a mile into the down hill, my left foot slipped on a rock, and wedged in between 2 rocks. While it didn't hurt at first about 20 minutes later my boot felt tight. It was my ankle beginning to swell.
The last 5 miles were pretty tedious. I let HM go in front because I wasn't making real good time. The sun started to break through and for a while we actually had some great sights. Unfortunately, all that I cared about was getting off of my foot.
We arrived back at the car at 5:30 having hiked the 25 miles in under 10 hours. Not too bad considering the wet conditions, the climbs up Humpback Mountain and 3 Ridges, and my gimp the last 5 miles.
This is the 3rd time that I have done 3 ridges, and it has rained two of the 3. If I ever do it again, I'm going to make darn sure that its summy... this section really sucks if you can't take in the views.
Pictures (what I could take) are attached...
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