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Re: [AT-L] DP&Gang Hike into Grayson Highlands

> Just thought I would let the list know that DP Dusenbury and buddies (Ralph
> and Mack) have been deposited at Massey Gap in the middle of the Grayson
> Highlands for their hike to Bastien.  Hit the trail around 1:00 p.m. today
> on a rather cold and blustery day, but sunny with spectacular fall colors!
> I think once they hit the top of the ridge there at Massey Gap, the wind
> might carry them all the way back to North Carolina.  They were looking
> psyched for the trip!  DP left that 400mm bazooka lens at home though -
> smart move, I would say. I think his Olympus XA will be a tad lighter.
> Mark
> (Shuttle man in the Grayson Highlands!)

Well.......  I'm back.  The perils of section-hiking.  I spent too much
time at the desk instead of on the trail recently, and, I am not too
proud to admit, had a tough go of it.  No injuries, just slap worn out;
no 'go' in the legs.  

Mark dropped us off around 1pm, we made camp at Chestnut Flats (13 mi)
Thur, then camped at the Mt Rogers NRA HQ on Fri (20.5 mi).  We made 12
to Atkins for a late lunch, where I bailed.  I realized I made that
decision too soon, 'cause when I called in for my messages, I had a
client with an emergency anyway, and would have had to go back home for

Mark Holmes made for a pretty good shuttle.  He was on time, and had no
problem in finding us at the 52 parking lot.

I stopped by our car today (Sun) to get a couple of things I needed. 
Our Buick wagon was OK, but the VW 4-door beside us had a window busted
out since we were there last.  (Maybe American cars are safer at
trailside lots than foreign??)

Another not-so-nice person:  We overnighted behind the NRA headquarters
on Va. 16.  Around midnight, we heard a car coming slow up the highway. 
About the time he got close we heard BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM.  A couple
of yahoos out shooting highway signs.  (We were behind locked gates, and
boneheads like that usually won't stray from their cars, but I did
wonder about the possibility of being down range.)

Neat thing on the hike:  Stopped at the top of Glade Mountain to watch a
chipmunk-critter rustling in the leaves.  He didn't see me standing in
the trail, and he took off running for the other side of the path,
abrubtly stopping when his nose met my boot.  He looked up (way up) with
this kind of "Oh Shit" expression, then turned tail and ran for cover! 
Guess he thought for a minute that he was a goner.

Fall colors are fanatastic, the hickorys especially are vibrant yellow
this weekend.  More color at the higher elevations in GHSP, another few
days needed in the lower elevations further north.

Met several southbounders, (5 or 6) but no names since we were all in a
hurry, us to make miles, them to beat snow further south.  Talked to one
for a little bit, a strong british-sounding accent, but had a kangaroo
thinger on his shoulder strap, so may have been Australian.  Sorry, no
name, but some of you 96'ers may recognize this vague description.

Mac and Ralph (fellow lister) are headed on to Bland.  When we parted
ways yesterday, they planned to make Davis Path Shelter, then back on
the itinerary of 19.8 Sunday and 16.8 Monday.  Well, that's what they
think.  When he wrote out the itinerary, Mac left off 8 or 9 miles from
Va. 615 to the US 52 parking area.  :(  Guess they'll just be surprised. 

ADVICE:  If you are still in school or whatever, stay there.  Never get
a job.  Forty or sixty hours a week at work is no way to keep in hiking


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