Up, Up, Up and only a handful of switchbacks.
Another view of the James River
(click on any image to enlarge)
The Devil's Marbleyard was an awesome sight. A dozen photos doesn't begin to show the enormous field of broken rock.
This is just one small section, less than 25% of the "Yard".
We were visited Saturday evening while preparing dinner by two guys who yelled, "Make sure you hang your food tonight. We just had a 150 lb Black bear cross the trail about 400 yard away." If you click on the image you will see the red bottom bag suspended at least 10 feet above Maggi's head. Always the last thing you do before hitting the sack.
Sunday morning campsite at Marble Springs. Just 8 miles back to the car. Mostly down hill. Mostly.
Yes, fresh Black bear scat, 400 yards from our camp on Sunday morning. Sitting in the middle of the AT. It was not there at 4:30 pm Saturday on the way in.
The last mile parallels the river and was a welcome relief after that long down hill.
Almost home. Crossing the AT James River bridge one last time. Just two more sets of stairs. The calves were screaming STOP. Lunch in Lynchburg for an all you can eat salad at Ruby Tuesday made up for all the pain.
Our Life Is So Plain All We Watch Is The Puddles Gathering Rain
After a long week working to take care of other people, Dad and I set out on a long over due backpacking trip, to take care of ourselves. The mountains are breathtaking; every time I see them it reminds me how much I love being outdoors exploring God's creation. Friday night Dad and I met after dark and hiked .3 miles into a nice leaf covered spot to set up home for the night. Saturday we were up a little after first light to get started on our 10 miles, mostly up hill. The weather was perfect, mostly sunny 70's that became 60's the higher we went.
The Devil's Marbleyard was well worth the side trip we took after lunch. It blew me away, how the boulders/rocks came to lay there is beyond me. Only God could have created such an amazing site. We came across a Boy Scout troop of 37 boys of all ages (elementary-high school) climbing across and around the Marbleyard. All I could think of was, I would NOT want to be responsible for them and I'm glad I'm not their mother. For me it took all fours to feel comfortable climbing up, down and around the rocks, it was amazing.
I was relieved when we got to Marble springs, home for the night. Dinner that night was Mexican beans and rice, freeze dried so all we had to do was add water. YUM! is all I have to say. Very very good I didn't even notice that I hadn't had a fruit or vegetable all day. We had to put our bear bag high that night since a black bear was spotted by two locals ~400 yards from our camp, yikes! It got dark and I think both dad and I were ready for bed. I read for a little until my hands got too cold to keep outside of the sleeping bag.
Sunday was beautiful too and the steep down hill posed an equally challenging day. The whole weekend just gave me the bug to get outside more. I think Dad and I will be making this more of a tradition now rather than an occasional trip. It was a great way for us to catch up on our father/daughter time. Although our legs were saying otherwise, we didn't want the weekend to end, so we grabbed some lunch and much needed veggies at the Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar. We parted ways Sunday afternoon and this Monday morning it was back to reality, but with great memories that will last forever.
Click on Google Earth image above and or the track profile below to see our Sunday, 8 mile return hike from my Garmin GPS track.