I’ve been trying to get to the Priest Shelter for months! Today I made it!!!
I’ll get to that.
I started at the base of Spy Rock Road, just outside Montebello, VA. It was about a mile up to the Trail and Spy Rock.
That is Spy Rock. The view from the top is fantastic, they say. I wouldn’t know. I tried two paths up and decided each was too much trouble this early in my day. So off I went.
I made it to “Ledges” in about 2 hours.
Ledges this time. Ledges last time! Same rock, way better view. This is what the top of The Priest is supposed to look like:
Stunning view. My first AT mountain over 4000′. Pretty cool. One more shot:
Love my little tripod.
While I was playing around taking the classic, sort of, Hiker shots, up the difficult side of the Priest came “Chainsaw Betty”and “The Mom!”
That’s Betty on the left. Chainsaw Betty! Great name. She and The Mom were such an enjoyable pair to talk to. This is why I hike. Chainsaw had been in Cape Town a short time ago and on Safari in Zimbabwe! It was fun to share stories from the bush about Lions and Elephants. It was easy to see that these two were great friends. They hike up The Priest often. The Mom said its a great hike. You get plenty of “bang for your buck!” she said. She obviously loves a good workout! I’m never going up there again. 😊
They were both very fit! Betty still plays competitive volleyball. We talked Volleyball a bit, too.
It felt so natural sitting there with those two. Hiking up a mountain does things to you. Endorphins maybe? Fresh air and a workout maybe? Accomplishing something physically demanding maybe? All of the above, probably.
It’s a different world up there on the AT. I am openly friendly to everyone I meet. It’s not an act. I just like people more when I’m hiking. That alone is worth the effort.
It is an effort.
I talk to myself always, while going up hill, and my knees talk to me going down hill. I don’t listen to me or my knees. I just keep going.
We said our good byes and I went down to the Priest Shelter to Confess.
It’s one of those AT “Things” that we hikers do. All along the trail there are, I guess you might call them traditions.
One is to hike up the Priest and do your Confession in the Priest Shelter Log Book.
So much for anonymity. Ha.
After that, I took an old gravel road about 4 miles down to Rt 56.
Turned left, and just down the road was the State Fish Hatchery.
You can just see the sign there on the right.
Fish Hatchery Road led me up to my car at the Spy Rock Parking Area.
All In All, (see what I did there?) it was a pretty great day.
I drove up to the Lewis Mountain campground, set up my tent, and tucked myself in.
The sun set and I drifted off.