Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mount Rogers Backpacking Trip

On the morning of Friday, November 19th the sun was shining as the Outdoor Pursuits crew loaded up a van for a weekend of backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. The group arrived at the trailhead at dusk and quickly set off for the first campsite. Friday night the temperatures were a little colder than anticipated as we set up camp by flashlight under the bright southern stars. As we ate dinner, we were treated to a show of stealth bombers flying low overhead in what seemed to be a training exercise.

Day two of the trip began with high winds putting our tents to the test and we worked together to break camp without letting anything blow away. Encounters with the area’s famous wild ponies lightened the mood as we pushed on toward our destination. The sun peaked through clouds on a few occasions, adding some much appreciated warmth to the climb toward the summit of Mount Rogers. We made it to the highest point in the state of Virginia for a nice relaxing lunch, enjoying the fruits of our labor at 5,729 ft. above sea level.

The weather had improved by the time we reached our second campsite, and the nearly full moon rose above us as we told jokes and ate some delicious snacks around the campfire. Everyone slept much better the second night because we had all worked hard and it was such a calm and peaceful night.

Our second campsite was still a decent day’s hike from the van, so we had little time to waste as we packed up on the final day. There was, however, plenty of time for a trailside lunch, photos of the spectacular views along the way, and a lot of laughs before we wrapped up the last Outdoor Pursuits backpacking trip of 2010.

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