Day 33: Ups and Downs

Saturday April 13, 25.3mi/40.7km

Pine Swamp shelter (656.3) to Sarver Hollow shelter (681.2) (VA) + 0.4mi side trail

I woke up at the usual time, but had a leisurely breakfast and talked with Turbo and Trail Chef for an hour. I finally got going at 9am, and it was nice weather. There were a lot of climbs today, here is the elevation profile.

At the top of the first climb, I was back in the clouds:

For most of the morning, I had my umbrella handy, as it would rain for 10-15 minutes every hour. Turbo caught me at lunch, and we hiked together for a bit.

Ever since entering Virginia, I’ve noticed these AT shields at road crossings. They are so much easier to see than the white blazes.

Later in the afternoon, the trail entered some farmland, and the sun came out.

And a few minutes later… cows! The first cows of the AT. Hi cows!On the Te Araroa, we used to say hi to the cows every day.

The trail also passed the largest oak tree on the AT today, called the Keffer Oak. It is 20feet in circumference.The backpack is for size reference.

Turbo caught up to me again as I was admiring the tree and snacking. He is fast, so as usual he got ahead quickly. This was thankfully the final climb of the day.

Once up on the ridge, I had some cool views of the surrounding ridges with the angle of the sunlight.

And some strange weird cairns that don’t seem to mark anything.

By 7pm, I arrived at the junction to the shelter. Usually, they are just 0.1miles or less from the trail. This one was far, ugh.I hiked the final 0.4 miles, and descended 200ft, which I will have to reverse tomorrow morning. Bleh. Long day!

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