Groundhog Day 82: Cliffhanger

Lamberts Meadow Shelter [mile 714.1]

The last of my short days! Well… tomorrow’s the nero into town. Nine miles. At the beginning, that was a full day rather than a nero! Well, I guess it is tomorrow, too.

I’m almost out of phone battery! I should be writing this longhand and saving the battery for reading and photos, but transcribing the entries after the fact takes twice as long. I got two full charges from the New Trent, which is awesome, but I’ve been free with the internet usage. Three phone charges in a week! That’s terrible. I’ll have to ration myself better. The short days are partially to blame. Setting up camp earlier means more time reading. Photos use a lot of battery, too, and I’ve been snapping away.

About the numbering: Javelin realized I skipped number 38! (Thanks, Javelin!) I was going to go back and correct the posts, but the phone app only goes back 30 days. I may fix them when I get home. Or maybe not.

So… the day. The party boys weren’t up too too late, but I could hear the partying going on all through the restricted zone. It was like Memorial Day weekend in a state park campground. I got up latish but still hit the trail around 7:20.

And first up? McAfee’s Knob, the most photographed spot on the trail! It was an easy uphill climb on a wide path to the knob itself—a heap of rocks jutting from the side of a mountain. The morning sun was beautiful, and I sat there alone for a while drinking in the endless mountains and the silence… and waiting for somebody to show up and take my picture, lol. Eventually a local hiker showed up, then thru-hiker Beerdre, who started March 1. I greatly added to the ‘most photographed’ total.

After that, the trail went down, then up up up seemingly endlessly all afternoon. Until it ended… at a half-mile cliffwalk called Tinker Cliffs. The word ‘cliffwalk’ had me nervous, but it was actually quite beautiful. The trail followed a line of cliffs right on the side of a mountain. But the trail was never more than a foot or two from the edge, and usually six to ten feet. I didn’t get too close, but close enough.

Then down back into the Virginia woods to the shelter. And here I am. The place was empty when I set up my tent, so I’m thinking the holiday weekend warriors have pretty much gone home. A group of people just arrived up there; we’ll see how that goes. With the restricted camping, this is the last place for water and rest until Daleville. (There’s a tent site a quarter mile down the trail; I’m hoping any weekenders will go there. But you never know!)

I chatted a couple of times with hiker Davy Crockett. That’s the name I forgot last night. I remembered ‘D’ and ‘C’ but I had them in the wrong order. Anyhoo, he saw so many ponies in the Grayson Highlands that it stopped being even interesting. They weren’t shy at all… came up and chewed his clothes, that sort of thing. I’m so going back there one day!

But listen. Right after we had that conversation, he saw a bear. It ran across the trail right in front of him, so he chased it! Crazy! But he got his picture. 🙂

And that’s that! Tomorrow Daleville to recharge, in more ways than one.

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Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Groundhog Day 82: Cliffhanger

  1. These pictures…THESE pictures are incredible! They make me want to hike. Wow. What a sight!

  2. Marge

    Where did Karma’s body go? Wow! How gorgeous are these pics and you in them! What a trip, my friend. Thank youuuuu. Keep the show rollin! It’s magnificent, and so are you.

  3. JD

    AAAWWW- THE best photographs yet!!! Such great scenery AND LINDA – you look sooo happy!!! Loving our Journey (did I say “our”? Yes I did

  4. Lisa Milstead

    Staying away from the edge is good, but I find myself Ok with nature’s edges. It’s the man-made ones that get to me! Love the pics!

  5. Wow opened up the email to see day 87…Cannot believe it has been this long already….I guess a journey of a 1000 miles does begin with a single step……just trying to be poetic…..LOVE the pictures and you look great…….keep up the great work and keep the Karma coming!! Miss ya, Eileen

  6. Slo & Because

    The pictures are wonderful. Always looking forward to your next story. May the days to come keep all large snakes, bears and rodents in safe viewing distance, and good HEALTH forsure!

    Slo & Because

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