Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Roller Coaster
Wednesday, October 17, 2012:
Today I started my ride through 'The Roller Coaster' - an infamous stretch of trail with about seven short but steep hill climbs and descents in quick succession on sometimes rocky trail, taking you to near the West Virginia border.
Of course, the way I do my daily hikes (both ways over a piece of trail every day), I got to stop the ride in the middle, put the roller coaster in reverse, and ride back to the beginning (the south end).
The hills and rocks slowed me down, and I got a late start on this beautiful day, so only covered 7.4 miles of new trail between Ashby Gap and VA 605 - the road that takes you up to Mt. Weather where there's the super-secure government base and huge deep underground bomb shelter facility to which the president and congress would be whisked in time of a nuclear war.
But I digress. The hike itself was just through the woods, no glimpse of Mt. Weather, no views or open areas at all - nothing to take a picture of except the fall color. The show is getting spectacular now as the leaves approach peak.
What a drab world this would be without 'Acer rubrum', the common red maple, which actually takes on all shades from yellow through orange to pink and, of course, brilliant red. And the hickory trees are starting to do their thing - they all turn brilliant yellow quickly and then drop their leaves in just a few days. Being in a woods full of hickories this time of year is like bathing in liquid sunshine! It seems bright and cheery even on a cloudy day. What a great time of year to finish this long adventure.
Here's the map and photo link for today's hike:
AT Day 259 - Rod Hollow and 'the roller coaster' at EveryTrail
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