View from western side of Mount Pleasant.
Henry Lanum and Mount Pleasant Trails loop. 7.2 miles.
It had been too long since we did this wonderful walk, as we more often chose the other one from the trailhead in the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area, which takes you over the bald on Cold Mountain.
On this threatening day we were delayed briefly at the start by the delight of Ken Knott introducing himself as not only a fellow hiker, but one of the – what is it up to now, nine? – readers of this very blog. Wonderfully flattering to me, and to a lesser degree to The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All, having of course nothing to do with Ken, but with how her hair might have looked...
After genuine pleasantries, Gail and I started on up the mountain, taking the clockwise route that takes you over Mt. Pompey and its vistas-through-the-trees.
At the Mount Pleasant summit, The Day Hiker and I had our usual debate about whether to eat on the west or the east pinnacle, and I took a rare win by pointing out that it hardly ever happens that the wind or the cold is not so severe on the west that we have to retreat to the east. Which is not to say that it wasn't windy and that I didn't get reminded of it now and again.
We were surprised (we think we're soo fast) to see Ken Knott behind us a few minutes after we sat down, and after a brief re-hello, turned to our good lunch with the good view toward and beyond the Peaks of Otter.
Ken, as witness the photo accompanying this, turned to his camera and, without our having any idea it was going on, took both the photo with this entry and the one that now introduces the blog. They showed up, totally unexpectedly and to Gail's and my delight, in the email one day. Talk about trail magic...
We lingered over lunch as the clouds thickened, and paid for it on the way down... walking in a light but steady rain for the last two miles or so. Ours was the last car in what had been a pretty crowded parking area earlier in the day.
How to get there: Exit 188 toward Buena Vista from I-81. Onto Va. 634 after going over the ridge where the parkway runs and then descending, to Va. 755 which becomes unpaved as FR 48 to the parking area just beyond where the AT crosses at Hog Camp Gap.
June 6, 2010 hike