Appalachian Trail at Skyland Lodge
to Cedar Run Trail
to Whiteoak Canyon Trail
to Old Rag Fire Road
to Limberlost Trail
back to Skyland Lodge
"You pout like a toddler
and swear like a trucker."
Oh, if I only knew then how many horrendous uphill climbs awaited me. Ignorance is bliss.
Let's start with the positive.
This section of the Appalachian Trail is absolutely beautiful. They say that Virginia is one of the most beautiful sections of the AT, and from what we've seen, we believe it. We passed horses at the Skyland Stables. We passed large rock formations, winding trails, open vistas overlooking the valley, and large, old trees bearing witness to the beauty.
It was all downhill after we left the Appalachian Trail, literally and figuratively. We hiked over a mile down the trail of steep rocks. People think that the uphill climb part of hikes are the hardest, but hiking downhill can be just as hard, if not harder. It's hard on your hips, and knees, and toes. It's also hard on your thoughts, because you know you're going to have to eventually climb back up.
When we reached the end of our first descent, we soaked our feet and ate our PB&J sandwiches.
On we hiked, up and down switchbacks. After some time, we could hear laughter and shouting. We hurried over to see what all the excitement was about and found a gathering of people, young and old, taking turns sliding down a waterfall. We found a rock to sit on and we watched, laughing as each person let out a yell when they hit the cold water. Watching strangers slide down waterfalls in the middle of the woods is a pretty cool way to spend an hour. As you might imagine, it was more fun than Jeff could resist
This is where the hike went from wonderful to wtf. It only made sense that after so much downhill hiking we would eventually have to climb. And climb. And climb some more. Jeff is so awesome on hills. I am so terrible which is why Jeff gets the quote for this post.
The hills got the best of me and I was not a happy hiker at the end, but I did get that last laugh. I somehow convinced Jeff that even though I hiked for 8 hours on a 90 degree day, my natural deodorant was so awesome I didn't stink. I honestly didn't think I smelled, and for whatever reason, he believed me and took the bait when I lifted my arm. He yelled, "OMG! Why would you do that to me?" Mean? Yeah. Funny? Yes, probably forever.
Jeff's Beer Pick: Stinky Hippie by North Country Brewing