Friday after work, Peyton and I went out a bike ride down Grove Avenue. Turned out to be a windy ride, but definitely enjoyed the waning rays of sunshine. Friday evening we took DeShawn and Larry, our friends from Barton Heights, out for pizza at Bottom's Up.
Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day, of which I ended up spending most of the morning and early afternoon hours inside studying. The studying was broken up by some granola making and a quick trip to the gym. In the late afternoon, a few friends and I headed out to Tuckahoe some skeet shooting.
Sunday morning brought some studying and reading before heading off to the Priest for an afternoon hike.
When I reached the Priest shelter about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, I ate some lunch and decided I would keep trekking on the AT headed North. I wanted to see how far Crabtree Falls was from the Priest- I had heard that it was less than a mile. I ended up talking to some locals who were out rootin' on a road that crosses the AT. They told me to hike about another mile and I would reach a spur trail that would lead me to the top of the falls. I probably hiked/ran another mile and a half till the top of the falls. The trail was refreshing as the sun was beaming down on the series of trail-side cascades.
As it was getting later in the day, I wasn't quite sure how far the base of Crabtree was from the Priest trailhead, so I did my best to get down to the parking lot as quick as I could. Once I hit Rt. 56, I turned right towards the Priest trailhead. At that point, my legs were telling me they needed a break. Hitchhiking started to seem like a good option as my legs were tiring out and the parking lot wasn't getting much closer. After about half an hour of walking/running, I started sticking my thumb out at every car that passed. Initially, I got some thumbs up back. I think most of the drivers thought I was just a happy hiker enjoying the beautiful day and was just giving them thumbs up because I was happy. I decided to change my approach. Apparently to them, I either looked too creepy, or too happy. I needed an in between. I tried to look nice, but exhausted, and I did what I could to head nod to them that I wanted a lift, down the road. After a few times using the new approach, I finally got picked up by a lady in a red sports car whom I had passed coming down Crabtree Falls. She didn't even really ask where I was going, or what I needed, she just said, "Hop in!". So, I did, and off we went down 56, another two miles. I was so thankful for her generosity, as another two miles on my not so in shape legs would have made for an even more sore morning than I'm already feeling. I wanted to give her something to thank her, but all I had was a smelly banana peel, and some trail mix.
When I got home I tried to map out the route I took, and the best I can figure is that I probably hiked close to 7 miles and ran another 3. Not that bad, really, but my legs are feeling it today. All, in all, it was a great hike and I am glad I now know how to get from the Priest to Crabtree. I took a few pictures along the hike, and enjoyed the run ins I had with some of the locals, and of course the hiker who picked me up and drove me the final two miles stretch.
Got back to Richmond in time for a worship night at the National and then some hang out time with some friends afterwards.
All in all, a good weekend.