Thursday, September 11, 2014

Appalachian Trail - Totts Gap to Wolf Rocks

Before the Trial-Storm that this weekend is going to be (starting tomorrow), I would like to post about mine and the girldog's wonderful Appalachian Trail hike on Sunday.  I set out to meet up with "Wolf Rocks", my turn around point on my July hike (the last time I was on the AT.)

We started at Tott's Gap.  The trailhead was back a dead end residential road and it required a .2 mile gentle-hill hike just to get up to the trail.  I also saw that there was a Geocache called "Pick Your View" about half a mile in, so we of course had to grab that.  I quickly saw why the cache was named this, there were a lot of views!  It was a beautiful 70's blue sky day and it was truly an uplifting day to be on top of a mountain on my favorite trail, choosing my view.

It wasted no time with the Up! and the Rocks!

But we reached the ridgeline soon

The hike leveled off rather nicely into a mellow stroll with few ups and downs.

Except...the rocks.  There were big ones, little ones, rolling ones, and they were all annoying.  Not the cool "look at those rocks!" rocks, but rocks just enough to keep me from going at a nice fast stride.

And then...we came to Nelson's Overlook.  This is officially one of my favorite vistas on the trail.  I loved how it opened up out of the woods onto a grassy clearing.  There were multiple fire circles and I would not be surprised if people camped here.  I would love to.  It was very comfortable to just sit and think (while listening to my dogs grazing on the grass.)

Photos fail to do it justice, as ever.

We found the Kirkridge shelter.  You could take a blue blazed bypass trail off of the AT to visit this shelter, and then just continue along that trail until it met back up with the AT.  Convenient!  We took the shelter trail on our way south, and stayed on the AT on our way back north.

Calm before the storm

My question of "did I reach the Wolf Rocks?" from my last hike was answered very quickly.  Yes, I had reached the Wolf Rocks last time.  However, the Rocks last for a good half mile along the trail and they are very large.  I had just reached the northbound beginning of the Rocks.  Since we were hiking Southbound, we got to enjoy the entire stretch up until my turnaround point from the last hike.

And then we turned around, did it all over again and returned to the car!  Between the length on the AT and the hike up and down from the trailhead we probably hiked about 9 miles.  It felt great!  I love going on AT mini road trips with my dogs and spending a few hours out there.  Our next hike in this area will take us in to New Jersey.  Wow!

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