Made it to the starting line with no car troubles, except the gas gauge went out so I just kept stopping to fill up. It made it a little entertaining!
The morning was so foggy and while I was waiting to talk to someone about leaving my car, I spoke to a woman about the hawk watch that was taking place right up the road. Apparently Rockfish Gap is very narrow with excellent updraft and at this time of the year it is filled with hawks soaring through. Thousands of hawks!! As soon as I made it half a mile up the first ridgeline I saw one huge hawk fly right over. Then several more in the next couple hours. Nice way to start the hike.
I can tell you right now that having Chili with me is really great, but I doubt there will be many wildlife shots. We did almost get run over by 3 deer as we were trying not to get run over by a car. Wish somebody had a video of that.
The AT zigzags with Skyline Drive so you hike over it several times. The cars don’t slow down! If you walk up or down the road you will usually find an overlook. Pretty fantastic views.
So for day one I managed to hike 14.6 miles. This section is easier than what I’ve hiked in the past, but it’s STILL HARD!! Today I woke up sore, but ok, and I’m at Loft Mountain wayside. I’m going to attempt another few miles which will break my record of 15.5 and surely kill me. That’s after my blackberry milkshake. I think it’s past blackberry season and they are stretching it. My milkshake tastes pretty vanilla.
We are doing well on day two and I’m off to break my record. And hopefully that’s all!