Sunday, May 7, 2017

The climb begins!

Intentional slow start day; I am aiming to summit Mt Rogers during a forecast weather window on Monday. Tonight I plan to be at Old Orchard, just a mile south and 800 feet higher than the trailhead where the shuttle will let me off.

Laundry was first, then finding a hardware  store to buy a replacement set of sunglasses. Then, a bit of serendipity turned the day for the better. Google pulled up a farm fresh market that served lunch -- and wow, did they! The place is inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's book on eating locally.

Harvest Table Restaurant

The Mount Rogers Outfitters accepted the Ion for their free off street parking in Damascus, and their driver shuttled me out to the trailhead.  Turned out he was (is) a Marine, albeit a severely disabled  and irritatingly non-combat one. Nothing "in the sand" or even "in the field" but a car crash near Camp Lejeune that shattered one leg and put him out on disability. His life since then, he said, has been a series of employers who sometimes let him go before he gets tired of them and leaves without giving notice. Yah, life ....

I made Old Orchard easily, had time to set up and reorganize my pack a bit. Made a perfect bear bag cast just as a trio of NOBOs were coming in to the shelter this evening, ha ha. They said last night up on the summit was ice cold, they were wishing the ponies would come around and huddle with them.

Less cold forecast for tonight, but the winds are high. Also lacking anyone to huddle with, I plan to curl up inside my tent before sunset.

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