Gail Rheinheimer looks out over the view from Sharp Top.
Sharp Top/Harkening Hill/Johnson Farm at the Peaks of Otter at milepost 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 7 miles.
What a concept: Hike not just to the midpoint for lunch as always, but – for the first time ever in our nearly six years – an indoor lunch! On a cold day! In spot nearly as pretty as a mountaintop!
And although it felt to me to sort of chop things up a little, our giant, deelicious Cobb salads inside the Peaks of Otter Lodge Restaurant were pretty close to as good as our usual salads-in-the-woods. Or maybe five times as good. And with a view out the window of Abbott Lake and, beyond, the mountain we had just climbed.
And for The Day Hiker: No pesky fire. No white fingers. No stompin' around tryna get warm. (But also: No doggie companion at lunch, as Cookie had to wait in the car.)
All in all, far too much of a reward for a quick little 1.6 up and 1.6 down of Sharp Top, which of course we had to ourselves in the cold wind and occasionally icy trail. Although about halfway down, we came across another fool or two, and then near the bottom three or four more.
The hard part was of course the inevitable: the "juust-kidding" suggestion from The Day Hiker that we simply get in the car and skip the Harkening Hill/Johnson Farm second half of the walk. But of course once she got rolling, she pulled us on up the hill, past the cold, forlorn farm, over the crunchy top of Harkening Hill and on back down the mountain.
December 12, 2009