AT from Snickers Gap to
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Sam Moore Shelter, VA Backpacking Trip
This backpacking trip occured during the weekend of July 12 and 13, 2008. Participants were Bill Isham, Chris Isham, Tom Stevenson, Jim Casserly and myself.
Saturday, July 12, 2008- Jim C, Bill I, Chris I and myself met at the
Five Guys in Winchester, VA at 12 noon and had a good lunch. We then drove to
the trailhead at Snickers Gap and started the hike at around 1:30PM. We made
a quick stop at the Bears Den Hostel so I could show it to Bill, Chris and
Jim. It was only 3.6 miles to the Sam Moore Shelter, our intended goal. This
will be easy, I thought. I had forgotten that this stretch of the AT was
along 'The Roller Coaster'. 13.5 miles that had 10 ascents and 10 descents.
We would be going over 4 of them in the 3.6 miles that we had to get to the
shelter. The trail was rocky and crappy. The weather was hot, high 80's-low
90's. All of these factors combined to make this the toughest 3.6 miles that
I had ever hiked. Tom Stevenson arrived later in the afternoon and joined us
at around the 2.5 mile mark.
We all arrived at the Sam Moore Shelter by 5:30PM. We were tired! There were
3 other section hikers at the shelter that were from MD. All very friendly.
One of them had a dog named Ben. He was very friendly. So we ate dinner and
swapped some talk. Jim C had been to Africa earlier in the year and showed us
some pictures from the trip. We all retired early since we were bushed. I got
a chance to try out my new tent. It is different but I think that it will
work fine. The night was warm and somewhat breezy.
Sunday, July 13, 2008- We all got up at first light, ate and were on
the trail by 7:30AM. I suggested bushwacking to one of the parallel roads to
the trail and taking them back. But no one else wanted to. So we again
endured the 3.6 miles and 4 big ascents and descents back to our vehicles and
This was a tough hike. The trail conditions were some of the worst that I
have seen along the AT. I think that the only way that I will be back to this
area is to see the neat overlook near Bears Den Hostel. I also may backpack
in about a mile or so to the first stream crossing to camp. But I don't think
that I will be hiking 'The Roller Coaster' again. It was a tough hike.
However, I feel that a tough hiking day is better than any day at work!
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