Posted by: athike2011 | April 23, 2011



Lost mountain shelter

The day started out with a delicious breakfast from the dairy king. A tenderloin biscuit with egg and cheese with a side of hash browns and ranch/Texas Pete to dip.

The hike out of town was nice and easy, the new socks on my feet felt great. After a mile we started the uphill out of town, it was a pretty easy climb and part of it went along the VA Creeper trail, which is a popular bike trail in the area. At one point the trails merge for 3/4 mile, which was very awkward, an though it was graded beautifully, it was my least favorite part of the day. Most of the people were riding rental bikes and had no trail manners what so ever. The 300 or so people that passed me in that stretch were all over the place, I was constantly dodging bikes.

From where the AT cut back off it wasn’t too far to the shelter, when I arrived there were already two people there who had apparently zeroed there. Zeroing at a shelter is something that I don’t understand if you’re not sick or hurt, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. One of the guys there had a dog named Soul Shine, they were an interesting pair… The dog followed him about 2 1/2 weeks earlier and he had just taken 9 days off in Damascus and decided to take the dog with him. Sadly, he had no experience or knowledge of how to handle a dog, let alone a dog on the AT. Hopefully he wont make it to Wise Shelter tomorrow.




Wise Shelter

Crazy wind and some rain last night, never good to start your day off in rain gear. Though the rain never got too bad, we were going over Mt.Rogers and the Virginia Highlands and it was all clouds. When I got to the first bald before Rogers, it was about 40 degrees at 5000ft and at least 60mph winds and 20+- feet of visibility. My hands again turned to icicles and I had to use socks as gloves for the rest of the day.

I am not sure why people with crappy dogs bring them on the trail. I walked up on four section hikers with a dog, which was on a leash, but the leash was on the ground. Sierra, like normal, did not have a leash on, as she knows how to handle herself. As I walk passed the first guy he yells up to his dad, I assume to let him know there is someone passing, he picks up the dog leash and Sierra walks up to smell the other dog. Out of nowhere the dog snaps at Sierra and she jumped back. About 15 mins later I noticed she was bleeding on her nose, I guess she didn’t jump back fast enough and I hadn’t noticed. I don’t know why the hell you would bring an animal like that around, and if for some reason you feel you have to, why you wouldn’t warn others is beyond me. Sierra didn’t really seem any worse for wear, but I was pretty heated by the tine I got to the next shelter for lunch.

After lunch we hit the highlands, it was so foggy I managed to lose the trail a number of times, but I did see some wild ponies, which is really the first wildlife I have seen. Got to the shelter by 4, lots of people out today, must be a weekend. There is a family at the shelter tonight, they had 4 pork tenderloins and a few vidalia onions cooked on the fire, I have never seen leftovers disappear so quickly, they were delicious though.



  1. Poor Sierra! I always wonder why any dog would snap at her, you would think they could sense she is harmless. I miss her ❤

  2. I wonder how much busier the trail will get as the weather warms and summer vacation approches. Keep us updated about that.
    Have you met many short term hikers? People who are on the trail for only a week or two?
    I guess that might increase the number of dogs. And those who are not schooled in keeping there pets under contol.

  3. – “their” pets-

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