Well me and Dayglow had a blast to say the least. It ended up just being me and him on this trip which worked out pretty good. We got to the trailhead later than expected which forced some changes in our campsite choice. We decided to do this trail loop counter clockwise this time which proved to be a great idea.
Our first stop was at the junction of the MarHar and the AT and then headed down to the shelter a few yards away. Met a hiker down there and chatted for a bit. Cant remember his trail name(sorry bout that) but he was pretty cool and had a good conversation for a bit before heading to our first campsite.
Sequence 01.Still001.jpgSequence 01.Still005.jpg
I forgot to dump the majority of the water I was carrying and hauled an extra 2 liters of water from the TH to the first camp for no reason...lol...(The trail straddles the river for the better part of the hike to the first and 2nd campsites)
It got dark around the time we got to the first campsite which is not marked on the map. We stopped for a minute trying to decide whether or not this campsite was the one marked on the map. The time/distance we traveled didnt seem to add up and Dayglow suggested we push on until we reach the next campsite, gambling that the one we were at was not the one marked on the map. I was concerned about hiking in the dark based on a gamble; Dayglow reminded me that we were hauling hammocks and could simply set up shop anywhere we wanted, it we ran into trouble and had to stop.
So we pushed on another hour into the dark with headlamps on low as we walked along the rocky path that straddled the river. We found the correct campsite and our gamble paid off. Perfect spot to set up camp with lots of room and a great view of the sky in HD quality. (No Clouds, or city lights).
We went ahead and set up camp first and then began to collect firewood to start a small fire. We noticed that there was about 5 different fire rings at this campsite location. So I took the rocks from one of the smaller firings and added them to one of the larger firings to eliminate one of them. I had packed some ingredients to make small pizzas so we went ahead and cooked those up which made for a pretty good meal. There was a large rock nearby that was pretty comfortable to lay on to check out the cloudless sky. After we finished our flasks we headed to bed. It got down to 25°F and it was a little windy but not too bad. I slept pretty good that night. Dayglow got tired of his reflectix sliding out of his hammock so he hung a fleece blanket underneath his hammock and slid the reflectix inside of it. he said it worked great and he was warm the entire night.
We woke up at dawn and both decided to lay back down for another hour. Ended up oversleeping and woke up at 1030. the Tidewater Trail maintenance club rolled into our campsite around 1130 and we chatted with them for about an hour before leaving. (We plan to join the trail maintenance club this spring/summer when I finish up with school go on a few maintenance trips with them.) We totally forgot to stop by and check out the waterfalls as we headed out. Headed straight to the next campsite which was at the base of Chimney Rock and stayed there till about 5pm chatting with various people and made a few new friends.
Day2.jpgSequence 01.Still004.jpgSequence 01.Still006.jpg
Now that the sun was setting, we began our night hike up the mountain to Chimney Rock. We had never seen the view before at night which was pretty cool. You could see all the city lights far off in the distance. It was a bit nerve racking in a few places when the light from the headlamp disappeared when aimed to the side of the trail. Pretty sharp drop offs in a few places. One misplaced foot could have lead to endless tumbles down the side of the mountain. The trekking poles really helped alot when the wind would try to push you off the mountain. The wind was pretty fierce near the summit so we sat behind a rock and made dinner around 8 or 9pm. It was pretty cool to sit at the top of the mountain and look out over the view while eating dinner.