A Hike of Many Purposes
Last weekend, Jimmie and I joined a formidable group of hikers and dogs on a backpacking trip on Peters Mountain! We traveled from VA-460 to VA-635. That section spanned 19.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail and all but 0.2 miles were new to me!
In my home office, I have an elevation gain map of many of the Virginia Appalachian Trail miles hanging on my wall. Whenever I complete some new mileage of the AT, I highlight the completed section. On that map, Peters Mountain has sat smugly blank for some time, bisecting two substantial sections of completed trail.
On Monday, the contour of Peters Mountain was finally traced over with a yellow highlighter! Now I can look proudly at my map and know that I have hiked a continuous stretch from VA-611 in Bland County all the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Roanoke!
Besides connecting two sections of completed mileage, this particular hike had a number of purposes:
Mike E’s Birthday Hike!
Mike, like myself, celebrates his birthday with a hike. Two years ago we went northbound on the AT to Dragon’s Tooth. Last year, we went to the Smokies! And this year, we hit Peters Mountain. I profit substantially from Mike E’s birth.
*MY* Birthday Hike!
Yup, my birthday was seven months ago. But if you happen to have a great memory (or mediocre searching skills), you’ll find that this same mountain was targetted for my birthday hike in March before I got stupid strep throat. But look how this has a happy ending! Thanks to that strep throat, my first trip to Peters Mountain included great weather, wonderful company and beautiful fall views. Sometimes good things do come to those that wait.
HEL Backpacking Trip
The group I was with were employees from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute— the people who do the SmartRoad. Specifically, I was with their Hardware Engineering Lab (HEL) team. Each year they do an annual backpacking trip and this was it. Man, that organization has a great corporate culture! Not only do they do cool backpacking trips like this, but they do annual canoe trips, painting balling ventures, and other outdoor activities. Note to self — get a job at the SmartRoad.
It feels weird to close this post without any pictures, so here you go!