Sunday, June 27, 2010

Highpoint: Virginia. Mt. Rogers (5729 ft). June 14, 2010

Rhododendron Trail, Appalachian Trail, Mt.Rogers Spur Trail. About 8.5 miles roundtrip, 1500 elevation gain.

When planning this highpointing bonanza a few weeks ago, I hesitated over four particular states. Virginia was one of them (I'll mention the others in later weeks, as we get to them). The hike up Mt. Rogers is a little over 8.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet. I knew Alex could handle the trek with no problems, but I was concerned about Sage. Sage has done 8 flat miles a couple of times, and she's done 1500 feet elevation in 5 miles, but she's never done 8 miles WITH 1500 feet elevation. Highpointing rules allow me to carry her if necessary...but since I'd be carrying a gigantic pack filled with the usual precautions for a serious hike, I didn't know if I'd be physically able to carry Sage for more than half a mile.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Sage took on this mountain with gusto. It helped that we ascended in a cloud, which kept the temperatures cool. Also...there were wild ponies all over the trail! These beautiful creatures motivated Sage, she kept wanting to continue in case there were more "just over there" (there usually were).

The trails wound through grassy highlands, rocky outcroppings, and one dense "fairy forest." I think my pictures and videos do a decent job of describing our day, so I'll hush up and let them do the talking...

Next stop: Kentucky.

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