Sunday, May 28. Lost Mountain Shelter to the Straight Branch parking area, about 10.5 miles.
It wasn’t raining when the alarm went off at 6am, so we packed our gear and got breakfast started. By 7am it was raining off and on, so we retreated under the tarp I had set up for just this occasion. We can eat and hang out in a dry space, finish packing, then pull down the tarp and start walking.
Got on the trail right at 7:30 and we were at Creek Junction at 8:30. We decided after the long day Saturday that we’d take the Virginia Creeper Trail to the car, so we started down the Creeper at a moderate pace. I’d mentioned to Ben that we could stop at 11am for lunch at the Creeper Trail Cafe, and if we were a little early we’d just wait. Well, we were an hour early – we were making 3mph on the level trail, an old railroad bed. So we kept going and hit the car by 1045, and drive to Damascus for lunch.
Forgot to add that we saw a bear! On the Creeper Trail, just before it leaves the USFS property near Taylor’s Valley, a young bear ran across the trail a hundred yards ahead of us, then ran straight up the side of the gorge. It’s looks like a 60 degree slope, and he ran. I’d find it difficult to climb.
The truck was fine, btw, and the sign said the area was closed from 10pm to 6am, so no overnight parking. Sorry!
After a pizza, calzone, and some fried shrimp we are now headed out to walk around town and do some shopping before the drive home.
All in all a nice little hike.