Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bald Knob is Cold. Cold Mountain is Bald

... and the contrary is also true:  Bald Knob is *not* bald.  And Cold Mountain is bathed in warm sunshine, making it comfortable even on a chilly day at 4000 feet elevation.  These two summits, about a mile apart, have somehow had their names switched!  I had the exact same impression when I hiked this piece of trail in June of 2011.

Monday, September 24, 2012:

Today I had a perfect weather day to visit a high open summit like Cold Mountain, and I was determined to get there.  I parked at the Long Mountain Wayside on US 60 near Buena Vista, VA and had to hike south first to complete a four mile piece of trail through the old freed slave sharecropper community along Brown Mountain Creek.

Then I devoted the afternoon to making the 2000 foot climb up to Bald Knob, descending to the broad saddle called Cow Camp Gap, making the ridiculous further descent 300 feet on 0.6 miles of blue blazed side trail to visit the Cow Camp Gap Shelter (damn those rules I've set for myself!) and then finally got to the glorious open summit of Cold Mountain at 2:30PM.

I strolled the open (mowed) high meadow, mostly on the north side of the actual summit, took lots of pictures, and soaked in the views.  What a delight!  Finally at 3:15 I headed back down and returned to the Long Mountain Wayside still feeling energetic after a hike of 18.4 miles.

Yes, this was one of the keepers - one of those especially good hiking days that I'll reminisce about in my old age.


Here's the map of today's adventure, and a link to many more photos:

AT Day 238 - Cold Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Virginia

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