So, it’s a little late. The hike managed to wipe me out, so I’m just now posting.
Megan and I decided to do the Little Greenbriar to Laurel Falls trails. That, unfortunately, meant two cars. Anyway, we started up Little Greenbriar a little after 11am. I had a wool base layer and a wicking shirt on with capilene bottoms under my shorts. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as the upper altitudes had snow a couple of days before. Being that it got up to 70 degrees, I peeled off layers.
So, the first half of this trail up with a slight downhill at the junction with the trail that leads to the Walker Sisters cabin. Then the climbing begins. The next mile or more is about a 750 feet per mile climb. You walk around a bend and then look up to the next bend. I should say, at the previous junction, we looked at a certain “hill” or top of the ridge and said, no we’re not going up that. Oops!
Continuing up the hill. I had to stop at about the transition from this climb to eat something. And rest. Then, we headed up again. Meg made the comment that it didn’t seem as bad. When I looked at the profile later that night, it was easier. About 500 feet per mile. Another mile of this and I could finally see blue sky. We stopped and looked at the map and determined we had maybe a quarter of a mile to the top and our next junction. When I rounded a bend and saw that sign, I threw my hiking poles at it. Not in frustration but in pure joy of the top of the mountain.
I took that picture lying down in the middle of Laurel Falls trail. We ended up eating food and passing out for half an hour there. I was wiped out! Remember, I had just come off of being sick and doing nothing for about two months.
The last 1.3 miles of the trail descends from Laurel Falls to the trailhead. This is all paved due to erosion. It is also the most used 1.3 miles of the park because of this. The falls were running the fullest I’ve seen them in a year. But I couldn’t deal with the crowd of people hanging out there. We did manage to pick up trash along the trail there. That was our first sign that we were almost to the falls. Hmmm…what’s the Leave No Trace principle? Pack it in, pack it out?
Even though the trail kicked my butt, I had a great time. I love being out in the woods.
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