I never sleep well on Day 1 on the trail, and this trip was no different. Despite a camp site right next to a load stream, which was wonderful, I still tossed and turned a bit. And I was chilly, even in my so called 20F bag. Granted I did not put on my socks or jacket, but still! I woke up early and decided to walk the 5 minutes towards the shelter, as there were two nice privy’s there.
Shea was camped near me, without even a rainfly:
On the way back I heard what I thought sounded like a lot of cows coming our way, and hoped the guys up on the ridge were awake! (Shea, David, Caleb, and myself had all camped lower by the stream.) I arrived and luckily the guys were up, with at least 10 large steer (including LARGE horns) all mixed amongst their tents, including this fire eating bad boy:
And a video:
After all the excitement, I made another amazing cup of stream side coffee:
The privy (“a poo with a view”):
We had a shorter hike today, but it was still a climb:
Once we reached the top of that climb it was really open and exposed — and crowded. There’s a day hiker’s parking lot not far from there, and there were a lot of people out. It was still gorgeous:
We debated at the top about what to do. Shea had scouted the area by the spring, and it was crowded. There were other options further on, but since he hadn’t scouted them, we didn’t know if they’d be any better. In the end we headed to the spring and eventually found some good camp sites.
After setting up, Bob and I decided to “fast pack” to Mount Rogers (just a small day back).