Sunday, November 9, 2014

McAfee Knob and Beyond

I've been on the trail since Friday night.  My Scouts, four leaders plus myself drove up to the McAfee Knob trailhead late Friday night. I'm always concerned about hiking to a shelter with a group. I've been woke up by Scouts in the middle of the night and don't appreciate it. Fortunately my group once again was able to set up their tents and hang their food without disturbing anyone. One of the campers told me on Saturday morning he got up at 2 AM and was taken by surprise that eight additional tents were there. I like to hear compliments like that on my boys. 

Saturday's hike was up to the Knob. We broke camp about 9 AM and headed north on the AT.  We had a couple of new boys and the steep inclines gave they a little trouble. They hung in there and we mast it to the top for lunch. 

It must of been McAfee Knob day. I've never seen so many people up there. Most all of them were day hikers and a few asked the boys about their chilly night. It had dipped below 25 degrees. 

The original plan was to hike part way to Tinker's Cliff and camp where some rocks form a shelter. I decided to save that for another outing and we headed for Campbell Shelter to camp. 

Water was the first order of business.  We past three dry springs on the way to the Knob. The one at Campbell was not flowing but there was water still in the spring box. We filtered enough for everyone. 

After everyone was settled I hiked on alone to Lambert's Meadow. There were a couple of tough climbs and by the time I got there I was soaked in sweat. Not a good thing in the cold. I quickly changed into my dry sleeping clothes and ate supper so I could warm up in my quilt. 

There were five others in the shelter with me. All of them were nice but they built a fire. I don't have a problem with fires. What I do have a problem with is smoke. It gives me a Teri le headache. That's funny since I spent a career fighting fire. 

This morning I left out at 6:15. The headlamp was on for about a mile and then the sun was up. Breakfast was a Paleo bar I had made at home. I can eat and walk at the same time. The hike took me past a huge reservoir. The leaves still had a lot of color at that elevation. By 10 AM I was in Daleville. I took advantage of the convenience store next to the trail and bought some chocolate milk and a couple of liters of water. 

I made to Fullhardt Shelter for  lunch. I was still undecided about my destination tonight. I wanted to make Bobblets Gap but I was concerned about daylight. 

Just before Wilson Creek Shelter I found two streams actually flowing. I refilled both my water bottles at Curry Creek.  At Wilson Creek I drank one bottle and refilled it again. I past Wilson Creek Shelter At 3 PM. I decided to take a chance and go for Bobblets Gap. 

Late afternoon I reached the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail was craggy and I was getting tired so I really didn't check out the views. I'll be on it most of the day tomorrow. I got to Bobblet's Gap just after 6. The bear bag is hung and I'm ready for a good nights sleep after my 27.9 mile day.