Friday, July 23

AT Profiles

Profile of our Hike
When we started planning our hike with Tim and projecting where along the trail we might join up with him, based on an average speed of 14 miles per day, I came up with Daleville, VA. Tim and I are both using  "The A.T Guide" by David "AWOL" Miller as our way of following his north bound progress. One of the nice things about this guide is the trail profile that runs from page to page. So looking at the elevation profile for the section in Virginia from Daleville to the James River, it did not look too bad. A few bumps to start off with, but nothing over 2,700 feet, until we passed Buchanan. Then there was a climb up to Apple Orchard Mountain, but it was stretched out over 12 miles, and then down hill to the James River. I figured that the 12 mile lead up to Apple Orchard should not be too strenuous.  Tim put on some extra miles and so instead of Daleville we met up with him in Buchanan 20 miles further up the road. So when we started out on the hike, it would be nice to say that we got on the trail at Jennings Creek and just followed the profile line up to the top of Fork Mtn. and then Floyd and on, but that was not really the case. In New Hampshire I have found that most of the trails do that. The mountain is up there and we hike up to it in a direct line. When we hiked in Montana, we found more slabs, trails that zig zagged their way to the top. Made it a bit easier and probably a little longer. In Virginia I found combination's of both. We were heading from the south to north and as I remember there was more slabbing going up the hills and then followed by trails that went straight down, with the exception of High Cock Knob which nearly did me in. Straight up High Cock and straight down the other side. Steep downs are just as hard as steep ups. Different muscles in use. The next three images were taken from Google Earth with a gps track overlayed in red to show our path. I did not carry my own gps on this hike because I did not want to have carry the weight of the extra batteries, so I found  this  track on the web. This track also listed all the shelters from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katadhin in Maine. If you click on the pictures they will enlarge for a better view.

 Fork Mountain trail starts on the bottom left goes up to the top of Fork Mountain and down to the plush shelter at Bryant ridge. Then up over Floyd and at the top of the picture the other yellow push pin is Cornelius Creek Shelter, where we spent the first night.
This picture is looking East with Apple Orchard Mountain on the right and moving to the left Thunder Hill Shelter, where we spent the second night. Then the next day continuing up over High Cock Knob and down to Marble Spring where  we spent the third night.

James River

Looking  West with the James river on the right and the trail descending from the mountains past Matts Creek Shelter on the way to the river. That was our hike, a few twists and turns and some long ups and downs.

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