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Kurt works at creating a smooth-handled hiking stick for Gail for the descent, since it was, you know, his fault that the hiking poles got left in the car, 2,424 feet below.
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Gail works to stay warm atop Elliott Knob.
December 4. From home over Murray Run Greenway and streets to Tanglewood Mall and back. 5.5 miles.
A good urban walk to see the good sci-fi movie “Arrival.” And may they.
December 12. Elliott Knob climb. 9 miles.
A brand new hike for us—up Augusta County’s highest peak, and at 4,463 feet, one of the 10 highest mountains in the state. We took the day, in conjunction with grandson Aden’s basketball game at nearby Buffalo Gap High School, to make the drive and take on a new climb. As strenuous a hike as we have done in a long time, especially the last 1.5 or so miles up a completely unforgiving forest road. The summit offers not only the old fire lookout tower, but also great views all around and a nice open area for lunch. On our descent—timed to get to the 5:30 game and under the fading winter sun—we crossed two lone hikers who, we didn’t think about till later were going up at that late time of day in order to come down under the clear-sky “supermoon” of December 12. A great hike and a fine game to watch.
December 17. Home to downtown Roanoke and back. 6 miles
Well, if you gotta go Christmas shopping, you might as well make a hike out of it, and throw in a nice lunch at the new Tuco’s while you’re at it.
December 27. Appalachian Trail from Va. 311 to McAfee Knob and back. 7.8 miles.
We hadn’t done this too-popular favorite since back in the full heat of summer, when The Day Hiker was just fine, but I opined that maybe we wouldn’t make the climb in summer any more. Was pleased to affirm that yes, it was just the heat that had made that day a hard one. Nice lunch on the eastern part of the precipice, looking down on Roanoke.