Sunday, November 3, 2013

AT Project in VA - To The James River

Appalachian Trail Project in VA – 8/4/13 - Thunder Ridge Overlook to James River – 13.2 Miles

We parked our two vehicles at the James River and our shuttle driver crammed us into his too-small vehicle and dropped us back at Thunder Ridge Overlook high up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Becky had remembered that a party to honor her 70th birthday was planned for that evening so she and Cathy put it in high gear to finish the day’s miles and drive back to Charlotte.  We said goodbye and off they went.  The remaining four of us enjoyed the day, another 5,000 feet downhill with a couple of uphill bumps along the way.

Photos?  Why, yes, I took a few.  I’ll let them do the talking.

Starry campion

Turk's cap lily

Columbine.  I tried for two days to get a good photo but the slightest breeze, even my own movements, would set these delicate blooms moving.

At Petites Gap, where the AT crosses a gravel road, leaves the Thunder Ridge Wilderness and enters the James River Face Wilderness, we took a short break.  Chris made friends with this fellow, who then peed all over her hands as I took the photo.  Chris didn’t even flinch.

Jewelweed thick and shoulder height, making it a challenge to find the trail

Beaked dodder, also known as love vine because it is a parasitic plant that wraps its yarn-like stem around other plants.  No chlorophyll.

At Marble Spring campsite, while Tamara refilled her water  bottles at the spring, Chris and Andy enjoyed the peaceful nature setting.

Looking back over my shoulder where we just went up and over Highcock Knob

At Big Cove Branch, coral fungus in orange

And yellow

Yay, Chris finally saw a snake on the AT!

Thanks once again to trail maintainers who make hiking a lot easier

At last, the mighty James River

On the footbridge across the James, built for hikers and dedicated to William Foot, a thru-hiker, trail builder and advocate who passed away in 2000.

“Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”  ~Henry Miller


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