Rockfish Gap to the Priest!


What a long, strange trip it’s been, this summer season of hiking the AT.

It started out as…what did it start as? Can’t remember. Can’t remember much if anything these days.

Well anyway, it has ended with a bang! Specifically, a deer running into my car! Then, a bee sting, a fall breaking one of my, very much attached to, Leki trekking poles, finally ending with my first, up close and very personal, encounter with a Rattler!!!

Summer hiking. Love and hate it. Flowers. More people. Bugs. Heat. Nothing but a long green tunnel for hours.

The GREAT PART is the people!!!

Four thru hikers stopped where I was collecting water. One named Papa Smirf, has started an organization called “Hike To Heal.” He’s a Veteran and recovering Opiate addict, trying to help the returning Veterans, who our current system has deserted. The depression and suicide rate is astronomical. Great guy. Great cause. Check it out please.


What fun I had getting to know them over dinner and breakfast. Tadpole, to the far left, and her granddaughter, Peanut? to her right. Oh man. I hate myself. Should have written down the names! Music Man is on the far right. His friend might be Peanut. Ugh.

Tadpole taught school for a while and then worked or is working with the Girl Scouts. The young woman on the right just got her first teaching job!!! I’m excited for her.

Anyway, they sang me to sleep with campfire songs!!! I really wished I could have gone with them! Not possible. Them going North – Me South.

The one with the green shirt was a hoot. Great attitude! I traded Pepperidge Farm Fish to him for some grape drink mix for my water. Sad that I can’t remember his name. Maybe it will come to me. Mudslide???

*** Tadpole! Please send me your blog title and all the names!!!!!

AT hikers are the best and most, kind and interesting people, as a group, that I have ever encountered in my entire 67 years, hands down.

Speaking of hands down, at least I didn’t face plant on this hike!That was my last like. I’ll show you now, now.

Or now.

That’s me at Rockfish Gap after the crash… I was soooooo lucky!

Dawn. I have grown to love the sunrise. Different and beautiful each day. I need to find a good sunrise spot near home…

I was so happy just to stop for a while that I asked a passing professor to take s photo. When in doubt, opt for the modified surrender pose. Amazing how I can be exhausted, smelly, bug bitten, snake almost bitten, covered in sunblock and insect repellent, and still genuinely smile! Another reason why I love the AT.

I needed water just after my fall. The trekking pole fracture fall. So bummed.

I’m trying hard to write today. I am having the worst post hike let down EVER. Man. Tomorrow I will be better. Sorry for the complaining.

Hawksbill Summit. Just short of 4000 feet. Amazing view!

I got back to my damaged car. A deer ran into me on the morning that I was shuttling my car to start the hike. Front fender and door replacement needed. It could have been much worse! Deer seemed to be ok, though. Glad for that, at least.

I camped at Big Meadows for my last night. Did laundry, took a shower had a nice dinner and breakfast the next morning.

I stopped at Compton Gap on my way home to hike a short distance to see a great example of Columnar Jointing.

I can’t seem to upload any more photos! I’ll try starting another post. Anyway.

Happy Trails.

All In

3 thoughts on “Rockfish Gap to the Priest!

  1. Doug really enjoy your blog. And glad you’re taking care of yourself while hiking. There is always a risk but what fun is life without living at risk ! I’ve had two encounters with deers while driving to work my 17 yrs at CBSD transportation. Both $4000 dollars total damage. Retired on June 18th and just enjoying getting board doing nothing. Never realized how hard I was working until I stopped. Been doing lots of biking also . Ok miss you and hope we can get together soon. Take care .

    Liked by 1 person

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