back in message 46 of this thread i was suggesting that if rough weather is heading our way as we approach that weekend & the state park closes trail heads with-in the park, we might want to have a plan B.
i mentioned this to my friend don at a local outfitter, knowing that he used to live up there & worked for a outfitter (in damascs i think) for a number of years.
i told him that one alternative place that came to mind (still in the "mt rogers rec area") was the wooded area along the trail going from elk garden parking area toward thomas knob shelter.
don pointed out that the trail is traveling up the west side of mt rogers, so the prevailing winds would likely be sweeping up through those leafless trees.
he pointed out that cliffside trail (near old orchard shelter) follows a creek up between two mountains & would likely be much more protected.
not to mention plentiful water.
it`s a short hike in (up lewis fork trail) from the parking area, which is between grindstone campground & fox creek trail head.
just a thought.