Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prepare for Hiking!

 Unfortunately I have not had the time or the energy to get in a decent post over the last few weeks but hopefully I now have some stuff to talk about, and some great (at least by my low standards), pictures to share of the things I have experienced and people I have met over the past month.

To prepare for my AT hike I wanted to get in at least 2-3 short to medium length hikes before I hit the trail,  so a friend and myself went out one weekend for a sub 24hr overnighter or S24O.  The combination of 90 degree heat and the fact that both of us were not in the greatest hiking shape made for what seemed like an endless climb to the top of Little Bald Knob (which is 5 or so miles south of Reddish Knob for you locals in the know).  The climb up Horse Trough Hollow is one of the steepest in the area, gaining 2,000+ feet in only three miles. Once we got to the top we were rewarded by unbelievable views of the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia not to mention a beautiful sunset.  After we ate and I took a few pictures, we snuggled down in our respective sleeping systems. I was in a Eureka 30 degree mummy bag with a Thermarest pad while Conrad, not having a lightweight sleeping bag, used an old blanket.  It got down to around 50, so while I was somewhere between comfortable and somewhat hot, by morning Conrad had gotten almost no sleep and was in the early stages of hypothermia, and that is no hyperbole! After we had gotten back to civilization he had to admit he had fun, he just wasn't really stoked about almost freezing to death.

Top of Little Bald Knob: elev. 4350 ft.

Mountains of Western Virginia in the Dry River Ranger District

Camp and Supper

Resting after a strenuous hike

Sunrise the next morning

It must have been the week for sunsets because only three days later I got home from work and the whole sky was lit up behind my house.  I grabbed my camera and was able to get in 30-40 shots until it got so dark my shutter speed was getting too slow.  It was so beautiful that the only real editing I did to the picture below was to adjust the brightness and stitch together 4 pictures to form a panorama.

Sunset behind my place

I hope to get out more that one post for the next month and by then I will be back in school so I will have more and better internet so I will be able to post more often. My next post will be about my AT hike.

Till next time,

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