07 Apr The Blue Ridge Parkway
Our plan was to get up early to climb out of the valley and up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Having the train run nearby our camp, definitely helped with the early wake up call. Fortunately for us, the sun is shining again, which lifts our spirits.
After about a mile of semi-flat terrain we start our grueling ascent to the Blue Ridge Parkway from Vesuvius. The road twists and winds its way up the mountain; the grade gets continually steeper and we find ourselves twisting and turning through several switchbacks. Ron is able to get into his groove and slowly creeps up the mountain. Petra on the other hand is not having such a good time getting to the top, has to take several stops while fighting the gremlins in her head, telling her to throw the loaded bike over the mountain’s edge. Finally, after over two hours of climbing 5 miles, both of us make it up to the Parkway…and we are happy and excited again.
Once we make it to an overlook we quickly heat up our leftovers, drink plenty of water and continue on.
We still encounter more climbs but at this point the views are so spectacular that we do not care. The different shades of the mountains, the valleys and mountain formations are amazing. We stop frequently to soak in the scenery, before eventually going on a much easier descent back into the valley. Almost at the bottom we meet Jackrabbit an AT-northbounder-through-hiker. He is waiting for a ride to a grassy patch set away in Waynesboro for AT hikers to camp. We quickly get directions and head to the camp space for the night.
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