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  1. #1
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    Default Rockfish Gap to Daleville/Troutville

    A last minute opportunity to do a section next week presented itself and I'm choosing SOBO from Rockfish Gap to Daleville or Troutville (I-81) with easy Amtrak logistics on each end (Charlottesville and the new Roanoke service). I've never hiked this section before. I have the AWOL 2017 SOBO Guide and have ordered the NatGeo map for this section. I always tent and try to avoid shelters and heavily used areas. Any places I should make a point to camp at that might not be obvious or documented in AWOL or NatGeo map would be interesting information to have. Thanks.

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    This is my current plan, just to pencil in mileage. I have a short first day due to the train schedule. What I usually do is pencil in camping near shelters but in practice I tend to stealth camp a mile or two after shelters if terrain allows. But I like to ask about campsites so that I don't miss anything great that shouldn't be missed.

    Any places to not miss or avoid is what I'm looking for.

    Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.51 PM.png

  3. #3

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    Looks like a good trip! If you have time for a few extra miles, it's worth hitting up Devil's Marbleyard on day 5. It would certainly make for a long day, though.

  4. #4
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    Do what you need to to power up when you start out Day 3...hiking the Priest SOBO is a tough pull for a lot of folks.

    Cow Camp Shelter is .6 off the trail and after a decently challenging hike up Cold Mtn. Might be prepared to stop at Hog Camp Gap and tent there for the night. It's about .3 to water and back, but plenty of space for camping there.

    Make sure you spend some time at Spy Rock and the Priest overlooks; they are incredible.

    Before you get to Johns Hollow Shelter, you'll be hiking a ridgeline right on Fullers Rocks overlooking the James River valley. While walking the rocks, about a quarter mile before you turn left and head downhill towards the river and the shelter, there is a grassy spot to your left (hiking SOBO) just 10 feet off the trail that could hold no more than a tent or two, but it is an outstanding site where you'll get a good sunset and sunrise while looking out over the valley. Highly recommend this over being down in the valley at Johns Hollow.

    Ditto CalebJ on Devil's Marbleyard, worth the side trip if you have time. Last time I did it, I stowed my pack behind a tree near the crossroads, did DM with just a water bottle with me, came back, picked it up and on the way.

    Bluff Mountain is a great lunch/snack/rest spot.

    Feel free to message me if you want more details on any of this. I'm near your halfway point, so if I can help out, lemme know. Enjoy it!

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    - Paul C Wolf shelter is very nice. Was 1 of my favorites in VA.
    -The Apple orchard range is what I considered one of the toughest in VA
    -3 Ridges was a real tough guy as well but an outstanding view and tenting on top
    -There is tenting at the stream in between the priest and 3 ridges but right on the road
    -If you can at all possibly chose it, the Super8 in Daleville is by far your best option. I used it when I went thru there and I us it on my long drives north on my way to other AT trips.

    All in all an outstanding but difficult stretch of Virginia - Water should be flowing very well. Post a trip report when you finish!

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    Thanks, this is great feedback. Taking notes on it for reference on trail.

  7. #7

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    There is plenty of tenting space at the shelter sites. Harper's Creek shelter is in my top 10 shelters on the AT list.

    But you have some real tough miles planned. Harper's Creek to Cow camp is going to be a killer. The next couple of days aren't much better. That is the hardest 100 mile stretch in VA.

    Even with all the rain, water is relatively scarce so fill up when you see it.

    I think I'll go a little slower when I get to that section. Last time I scored a ride from US60 to Glassglow from a day hiker and once at Glassglow didn't see much reason to back to US60 so I skipped that bit. No big deal, I had done it NOBO twice already...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    But you have some real tough miles planned. Harper's Creek to Cow camp is going to be a killer. The next couple of days aren't much better. That is the hardest 100 mile stretch in VA.
    The elevation profiles in the AWOL guide show what you're talking about. I think that I should be good for 20-25 mpd since I generally like to walk all day and not spend much time in camp. As long as my body holds up, I think it will be ok. But maybe I'll be able to make a few more miles on Day 1 if the train is on time and I get a quick uber up to Rockfish Gap. And I have a short final day planned so there's some room for error, I think.

    My other alternative in the time I had available was to do SNP again but I've done a lot of hiking in SNP over the years include the AT more than once so I figure extending my range on the AT is a better option.

    Good to know that Harper's Creek Shelter is a nice spot. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    But you have some real tough miles planned. Harper's Creek to Cow camp is going to be a killer. The next couple of days aren't much better. That is the hardest 100 mile stretch in VA.
    i usually disagree when you say stuff like that but i'm with you on this one. not saying i wouldnt think of planning on it but i'd want a lot of daylight and to know the conditions were good and i dont see either of those applying to next week.

  10. #10
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    Harper's Creek Shelter setting is one of the prettiest, especially during the Spring when the creek is full.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i usually disagree when you say stuff like that but i'm with you on this one. not saying i wouldnt think of planning on it but i'd want a lot of daylight and to know the conditions were good and i dont see either of those applying to next week.
    Very good to know. I'm going to try to hike a few miles past the Wolfe shelter on day one and maybe recalibrate my daily miles to result in a longer final day if I start having issues. Thanks.

  12. #12

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    Well, you come right up to the BRP a little south of Paul Wolf and if I remember right, that's a pretty narrow piece of ridge with the road on one side and the trail on the other. The Humpback area is real popular with day hikers. Good Luck. But it is pretty easy walking over to Maupin Field shelter.

    I need to buy the Guthook for this section, soon!
    Last edited by Slo-go'en; 03-27-2018 at 20:02.
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  13. #13

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    I don't know you, but from my perspective those are reasonable mileage goals for this section based on time of year and your stated approach of preferring to spend your day on your feet. Those are roughly the numbers I'd hit around here.

  14. #14

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    Weather will be a big factor and I'm not sure it will be all that good. The forecast for HF looks like it's going to rain most days from now into early next week. It's going to be really sloppy and not all that warm.

    I sure hope there's a change for the better in the weather patterns by the time I get there in about 3 weeks.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Coffee- You can schedule an uber up to 30 days out on the website, that could help with your time crunch on day 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Weather will be a big factor and I'm not sure it will be all that good. The forecast for HF looks like it's going to rain most days from now into early next week. It's going to be really sloppy and not all that warm.
    Waynesboro ten day actually looks decent starting Sunday for several days. But you never know on the AT and dealing with weather is par for the course anyway. Hoping for the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Coffee- You can schedule an uber up to 30 days out on the website, that could help with your time crunch on day 1
    Uber scheduling works pretty well. I might do that when I'm on the train and know when I'll arrive.

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