3 hardy souls took the trip to Waynesboro to hit the AT and put in some trail miles. One stalwart headed out on his own to the same trail to put in a few miles.
Drop the car off at Blackrock Gap and take a shuttle back to Rockfish Gap. Hit the AT and traverse our way back to the car (a reported 18.7 miles).
After about an hour into the trip, we ran into the Whittler who had just turned around to head back to Rockfish Gap. Since he had an aborted trail run on Monday, he was worried about going the full distance so was going to put in 10+ on his own. We pleaded and cajoled him into joining us and making the remainder of the trip to Blackrock. Great to have four of us out there together to make this trip.
The first three or four miles of the trip were uphill and rocky and provided very little opportunity for actual running. The terrain and vegetation took a quick turn thereafter and was much more runner friendly. This section of the trail saw some major elevation changes. We climbed just over 4500 feet and descended about 4100 feet, gaining just over 400 feet for the trip. Also along the way we crossed the road 4 or 5 times. After a while, once I saw a road, I was pretty unhappy because each road signaled a major climb on the other side. For the trip, Lab Rat had us logged in at just over 20 miles, while YHC had us at 19.4.
More people on the trail today than our last trip to the AT. We saw one hiker that was covering out route today and an older gentleman from Colorado who was one segment away from finishing the 105 miles in the park (later in the spring, his wife is going to join him and traverse the whole trail). We saw this gentleman hitchhiking back to his car at the end the day and Upchuck turned his vehicle around and gave him a ride back to his vehicle.
An obligatory stop at Bodo’s on the way home saw each of the PAX ordering enough food to feed several people. Bodo’s is always good, but after miles on the trail, it is exceptional.
The trips to he AT are long days, but incredibly fun and challenging. Nothing like the hills you get on the AT to train you for a long distance jaunt. Also, running the trails of the AT brings a whole new appreciation and understanding of the challenges or trail running. YHC, incredibly, was the only one to take a fall today.