Gail Rheinheimer and Cookie
The Day Hiker and her dog, with Carvins Cove in the background.
Appalachian Trail from U.S. 220 in Daleville to Hay Rock and back. 8 miles.
This familiar ol' hike had a mild surprise or two in it, beginning with a short re-routing of the AT since the last time we were there: Soon after the start, on the way down toward Tinker Creek, the trail veers left through pines for maybe 200 yards, with the old, more-direct route gently blocked with limbs and branches. Not a big deal at all, but a pleasant, if tiny change.
The other surprise isn't really a surprise at all any longer, just a revisiting of an old one: How is it that the Hay Rock formation – four miles from one trailhead and about eight from the other end – is not only still full of graffiti, but also has lots of fresh application thereof. It's mostly Bob-loves-Sue kind of spray, but the mystery-to-me remains... who but Bob and Sue, some thru-hikers and the occasional day hiker is going to see the message, and who among those groups knows Bob and Sue or is going to have anything but a negative reaction to spray paint after a long forest walk (though it is interrupted rather regularly, walking southward, by giant buzzing power lines)?
As is our usual practice, we scouted briefly around Hay Rock for a cool lunch spot and, eschewing the climb (because of the dog, we get to tell ourselves), and walked back a short distance to a rocky spot that offers views both onto Carvins Cove and into the southern part of Botetourt County.
Hike, September 25, 2010.
How to get there: U.S. 220 to Daleville just north of Exit 150 from I-81; park in commuter lot.