Punchbowl Shelter to Brown Mountain Creek shelter. Just 9 miles.

Today was HOT! The forecast for down in the lowlands was 95 degrees, and it felt pretty close to that up here too. There wasn’t any wind at all either. 90s, hot, humid, still air, it’s a killer combination. Tomorrow should be cooler, today was supposed to be the peak of this heat wave, but it’s still going to be in the 80s for a few days. I guess summer is here!

I stopped at this shelter after just 9 miles. After here, there’s a big 2500 foot, waterless, climb. I’ll tackle that in the morning when it’s a little cooler, and when I’ve got more energy. I do have the luxury of being able to do some short mile days while I wait for the gang to catch up. They went a couple more miles today, part way up that mountain, but then into Buena Vista. They will zero there tomorrow. So my plan is to get to Waynesboro a day or two ahead of them and then sync back up for Shenandoah. I can either do some normal mile days and take a zero in Waynesboro, or some shorter mile days and just spend one night there. They weren’t planning on spending any nights there, just a quick resupply stop if they need it.

Shenandoah sounds nice right now. Because the trail parallels Skyline Drive for most of the park, there are frequent restaurant, snack, and lodging options. We think we’ll be able to get away with carrying no more than two days of food through there. That’ll be fantastic if it works out. Still more guide checking to do on that one.


  1. Mom Said,

    June 2, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    Oh my – heat and humidity. Good that you can pace your days for shorter ones. 2500′ is a huge amount to do in hot weather, but morning hours will be better. By the time you see this comment, you’ll have already completed that. Shenandoah and Skyline Drive should be beautiful and nice because of the food and lodging available. Keep up the good hiking! Like that you were able to replace your Kindle with an even lighter one. As you said, 3 oz. less – – – every ounce helps.

  2. Kristi and Eric Said,

    June 2, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    9 miles is a long way in that heat! I’m a great fair weather hiker, but would have a tough time with that heat. Lots of water and rest stops are key I suppose! You sound like you really have the trail travel thing down now but Shenandoah sounds like it will potentially be a nice ‘break’. Looking forward to hearing about the big climb – hope the weather cooperates for ya! Have fun!

  3. Bernie Eskam Said,

    June 6, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Hi Joe, Welcome to summer in Virginia. heat & humidity for weeks on end.

    Hope you can stay cool in the woods and have plenty of water. Stay safe . Love Grams

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