The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All always looks like this after she has to bushwhack.
Cold day and short time calls for a short hike, and when it can be both nearby and new, we figure we are in for a good hiking day.
Well, while the RATC did this hike recently and said so in its bulletin, it didn't provide precise details, and our searching around for details apparently led us to the wrong little spot to stop and park along Bradshaw Road off of Va. 311 west of Salem. There are two such spots within a mile and a half of each other, and using maybe some birding trail info we got the wrong one, fully unbeknownst to us as we started out.
Which didn't mean no fun at all, as for a time the trail seemed fine… sort of forest-roady and on its way up the mountain. Until we came to a fork and, as Yogi Berra or somebody said, we took it. Well, that fork faded into forest after a time, and so we came back down and took it again, only the other one, which, after some more nice climbing, also gave way to fading into forest.
We made a few tries here and there – are there more places that look like a trail in snow cover? I think so – and eventually seemed pretty close to a little knob pretty close to the ridge line. Reaching it did involve bushwhacking down a faIrly steep hill, crossing a small pretty-dry stream and then 'shwhacking up a longer, steeper hill but The Day Hiker, after minor beefing – and well, maybe some I didn't hear as I dragged us up – came on along, and we found a dry log somewhere near the knob where we compromised and sat down to eat.
It took us an hour and a quarter to get to where we ate, and with tracks to follow down and no need for all the false starts we made on the way up, we were back at the car in 40 minutes, with plans to try the other parking lot soon.
How to get there: Out Va. 311 west of Salem. Left on Bradshaw Road for about 5.5 miles to the lot we're going to try next time; about 7 to the one we tried this time. About 4 miles.
Hike: January 16, 2011