Saturday, February 11, 2017

Choices (final)

AT Humpback Rocks ice rocks

AT Humpback Rocks Trail ice spring

Cleaned up my bivouac site carefully -- Leave No Trace rules --  made do with trail bars, a tuna pack, and a sip of my remaining 6 ounces of water for breakfast. Back half a mile to water, or forward 2 and a half miles to the shelter I planned to reach by day's end? I chose the second option.

Bivouac Site

Looked like a good choice after I got there, and the climb was stiff enough that I was really ready for some oatmeal when I stumped downhill the last rise in the trail. Clean babbling stream, flat, clear, and soft tent sites ... large Dunkin Donuts bag filled with trash near the shelter firepit (unkind thoughts), but I can carry that out for the rangers. So I set up camp.

A quiet voice whispered that I was on the north end of a loop that many folk do as a day hike -- surely I could do another 7 miles before sunset? Common sense prevailed, even when a noisy crowd of UVA pledges showed up to camp for the night.

I moved my tent to the other side of the ridge with a half dozen others.

Tomorrow, the Three Ridges Wilderness, starting with a 1200' climb up Bee Mountain followed by a ridge walk with a net 1200' descent, to arrive at Harpers Creek shelter. No water supplies on the AT between here and there, regrettably.

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