May 11, 1998

5/11/98 Brown Mtn Creek Shelter

17.7 miles (782.1 total)

Didn’t sleep well last night, so I guess I didn’t mind it too much when Toolman and Longstride got up at 6am. They left by 7am and we left by 9:30. After a solid hour of climbing, I stopped at Fullers Rocks Overlook. I thought I was done climbing but there was another 30 minutes UP!

By the time I got up to Big Rocky Row Overlook, I was in the clouds. Although it sprinkled a little up on the ridge, I’m sure it was raining down in the James River Valley.

View of the James River after a long climb

Punchbowl Shelter was a little of a disappointment. I walked down to the pond for those "National Geographic" views but only saw a bullfrog and a snake. Samson & Delilah were leaving just as I got there. While Ghandi, Veto, Smiley and I had an early lunch, Smiley pointed out another occupied birds nest in the shelter.

Feeding time inside the Punchbowl Shelter

The rest of the day was either down or flat. The trail wound down stream of the Pedlar Dam. I was going to stop for a break but the water was pretty scummy. After climbing up around the dam, the trail winds around the Lynchburg Reservoir (drinking water). Heard a good awful noise that I thought was a sawmill but Veto and Ghandi tell me it was a special helicopter equipped with power saw to cut tree limbs away from the power lines. The last mile to the shelter followed the Brown Mountain Creek, a big "mountain" stream. Let me just say I HATE crossing one log bridges. I almost sat down to cross the first one. But it was neat to walk along the creek and see the old stone fences from a community founded by freed slaves shortly after the end of the Civil War.

The ridge itself was sometimes flat as a pool table

Again Samson was at the shelter, wanting to do a few more miles, but waiting for Ghandi. He decided he couldn’t wait any longer and took to the trail. Just minutes later Ghandi and Veto show up. Ghandi’s not going farther today. Once Smiley got here, we got to try out my "tick remover" on a little bugger on his leg. Didn’t work worth crap. He ended up using toe nail clippers.

One thing I had noticed today is that the trees are a lot bigger. One that I took a picture of was 3 ½ feet in diameter and wouldn’t fit in the picture frame.

Tomorrow’s climb out of the valley is worse than today’s. But again it follows the ridgeline until we go into Tyro for Veto’s mail drop. Then its off to Rusty’s and then Waynesboro.