Just back from a short weekend hike on a trail called “apple orchard” (ref: http:\\hikingupward.com)
Hike goes down from the Blue Ridge Parkway on the AT for a mile or so, then drops down the mountain for a couple of miles to the campsite on a creek. Don’t walk too fast or you get there really soon and have a lot of laying about time.
We drove down Friday night and camped in the TJNF off a dirt road, then visited what’s called the longest foot bridge on the AT, crossing the James River.
I had a large cinnamon raisin bagel with pineapple cream cheese and folger’s coffee bags for breakfast, worked ok.
For dinner I tried something different, 3 packets of .5 cup each dehydrated mashed potatoes, weighed almost nothing, and some liptons gravy. It was hard to simmer the gravy in the jet boil without burning, but it was done. But the potatoes with the gravy was FANTASTIC! and I was not hungry later. Only problem was the bowl that comes with the jet boil would only hold 2 packets (1 cup), next time will need to use a larger plastic bowl.
We had 3 or 4 sailors on this trip and these guys were great, and absolutely hysterical! Caleb shared his “Jack” with me at the campfire and he and Rattler swapped Chuck Norris jokes till we almost cried with laughter (you had to be there).
Squirrel had a new and lighter tent and was hiking and camping like a pro!
Squirrel almost stepped on a black rat snake, I was walking behind her…so after I cleaned out my pants we took some pictures and made a film of the snake before moving on. We ran into Herc, who’s an amateur herpetologist, so we went back found mr. snake, Herc picked it up and we played with it for a few minutes, it secreted musk, and I got it all over my hands, yuk.
Besides Caleb, I met Rodney and son Josh BMX, also Mr. and Mrs. Rattler & Sunflower Snackalicious (NOT TRAIL NAMES :0) from me anyway. I had hiked with Micki last year at Tinker Cliffs, this year she had new boots and no blisters, she also had Mr Sunflower, (we knew who was in charge)
From the parkway down to the camp we had to drop from 3470′ to 1600′. For the return trip an adjoining trail took us by Apple Orchard Falls for some photo ops the back to the trail head on the parkway.
I guess I was still in pretty good shape from the Grand Canyon hike because I had no issues with the climb back to parkway, held my own, was able to march on, only took one small break and that was at the falls for our photo op.