Tomorrow Ron, Phil, Lee and I start our “man trip” of a three day hike on the Appalachian Trail. Two years ago Ron and I volunteered to work on a maintenance crew for a week to do some repairs on the trail, which involved camping out and sleeping on the ground. I don’t want to do that again. Don’t get me wrong the week in the woods working on the trail was a great experience and I’m glad I did it but sleeping on the ground is something I don’t want to do again.
This trip will be a Lodge to Lodge Hike. We’ll drive to Thornton Gap, Virginia (653 miles from Birmingham) where we’ll leave our car and be shuttled south to Lewis Mountain. Here we’ll stay in trail cabins with toilet and shower facilities but will require us to cook our dinner and breakfast. I’ll be bringing 4 rib-eyes and a bottle or two of Carbernet Sauvignon for a campfire cookout and a kickoff to a great man trip.
Tuesday we’ll hike north to Big Meadows Lodge a bit over 9 miles. Features may include several short steps out to viewpoints toward the westward Shenandoah Valley where if it’s a clear day we’ll be able to see into the state of West Virginia. We’ll have the option of a side trip to an authentic Appalachian Trail hut and camp—Bearfence Hut—originally constructed by the
Civilian Conservation Corps. Tens of thousands of long-distance hikers have used this facility over the decades, and continue to use it.
Another optional side trip will be the Bearfence Scramble. This may not happen because it will include a bit of hand-over-hand bouldering along a rocky route using a narrow ridge—however the effort if we so chose to man up will be rewarded with striking views and photo ops in all directions.
The final optional side trip will be to Lewis Falls—late in the day—down to a westward facing valley viewpoint that also features a popular waterfall. Then we’ll finish our first man day at Big Meadow Lodge.
This gives you a snip-it of what we’ll be doing; I’ll write a summary of our trip here on my blog after we get back. I’m confident it will be a real Man Adventure.