AT-VA Backpack – Day 3 – 5/5/13 - Paul Wolfe Shelter to Rockfish Gap – 5.2 Miles
Around 40 degrees, still felt warmer in the shelter than in my tent the previous night. As long as the mice don’t make themselves known I could get used to this. The only thing that disrupted my sleep was a slow leak in my sleeping pad that I had to blow up twice during the night.
Mill Creek flowing in front of Paul C. Wolfe Shelter
The local AT main- tainers’ club has installed a convenient bear pole near the shelter. It’s a tall metal pole with several small hooks, about 15 feet high. You hang your food bags using a detached long pole that also features a short hook. I had some trouble hanging my bag – the weight of the bag and pole together were too much for me – so Waldo did it for me, but I was able to retrieve it myself.
We had a very short hike out, five miles. Cathy made a plan for us to shuttle Waldo and Paranoid into Waynesboro and drop them at a motel. Since I was a little slower and still sore, I left a few minutes earlier than the rest. My lead was erased, though, when I headed down a side trail rather than northbound on the AT. I realized my mistake after just a few minutes of steep downhill, but that meant a few more minutes of steep…uphill back to square one.
The AT Guide to Central Virginia gave me a heads-up to look for the Lowe family cemetery on an unmarked side trail. The Shenandoahs are much like the Great Smoky Mountains where people were bought out to make way for the Park.
Remnants of the Mayo cabin and homestead
So I arrived last at the car parked at Rockfish Gap where the others were waiting with chattering teeth – the thermometer was barely at 40 degrees. We waved goodbye to the entrance to Shenandoah National Park (see you soon!) Dropped the guys off in town, drove a long way home, took a full week to walk normally again. Gee, I love backpacking. When can we go again?
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. ~G.M. Trevelyan