Carey Kish is thru-hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He is currently in Virginia. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here. You can also follow his journey on Facebook.
May 30, 2015: US501 to Punchbowl Mountain Shelter, 10.5 miles, 9:30am to 5:30pm.
A big day that took a long time to go not very far. Hot and humid, mid-80s. Well over 3000 feet of tough climbing, up most of the day.
Broke camp at Otter Creek Campground on the BRP and jumped in Tim’s truck for a lift back to the AT at the James River footbridge. We sure had a blast last night, with a great campfire, cold beers, wine, cigars, hot dogs and a slew of veggies. Now the piper must be paid.
Got a good send off from Tim and headed out. Feeling homesick already. It will pass.
Easy going in the shady woods to Johns Hollow Shelter for a snack and a nap. Nearly all of the rest of the day was spent climbing. James River is at 680 feet, the shelter is at just over 1000, and the peak of Punchbowl Mtn is at 3500 feet.
Good grind mostly on switchbacks to first of the two peaks. High up enjoyed great views of James River, the foot and rail bridges, and the mountainous terrain above the river valley. Could even see south to Apple Orchard Mtn with its FAA tower on top.
Hot, humid, buggy. Nasty biting gnats. Got stung by a yellow jacket near the ridge. Nice long walk over the mountain on nearly level trail below the crest. Then another big grind to the peak of Punchbowl, which is signed as Bluff Mtn. Go figure.
Old concrete fire tower stanchions on top in grassy cleared area. Nice views west to what I think is Buena Vista. Short 45-minute hike to Punchbowl Shelter, set in nice woods near a farm pond and some fields. Beat, really beat.
Noodles and tuna for dinner. Revived somewhat. Lots of flies around picnic table. Writing this at 7 and ready for bed. Into BV tomorrow, 11.3 miles ahead. Peepers are peeping and the bullfrogs adding to the chorus from over at the frog pond.