Sunday April 21, 22.4mi/36.0km
Brown Mountain Creek shelter (806.7) to Priest Mountain shelter (829.1) (VA)
I started walking at 7:30am, knowing that it was a longer day with much elevation gain. The day started out cold, but quickly warmed up to 65F/18C and it was perfect hiking weather. I climbed up 3000ft/900m, and then had nice views from ridges and peaks all day.There was a trail junction called Cow Camp Gap, but it was disappointing as there were no cows.When I got to Cole mountain the views were even better, since it was a Bald mountain. When I was here in 2012, it was a foggy afternoon with no views.Looking back south, at where I had just come from.The small descent to the next gap was getting nice and green, and the forest smelled like springtime.The next gap was called Hog camp Gap, and it was where we camped in 2012 during a thunderstorm. Much different today!I stopped for lunch a little while later, and then shortly after lunch I caught up to Bob and Cedar. Bob and I walked together for a bit, and stopped for a quick side trip to Spy Rock, which has good views if you scramble to the top. So, we did!The last 4 miles were uneventful, but we did enter another wilderness.We got to camp at 5pm, and Early Bird (who I met back on day 12) was already at the shelter. Cedar, Toast, and Lightfoot showed up too.It’s a fun shelter, it’s called Priest shelter (on Priest mountain), so everyone confesses their trail “sins” in the shelter journal. They were hilarious to read, and it was some good dinnertime entertainment.Priest Mountain is 4050ft high, and this will be our last time above 4000ft until Killington peak in Vermont, 900 trail miles north of here. Downhill tomorrow! Happy Easter!