Seeley Woodworth Shelter to the Priest Shelter
We have another day of moderate up and down climbing with about a 600 ft climb at the end as we begin our ascent of the Priest. The Priest is one of three peaks in the ‘religious range’; the Cardinal and Little Priest are the others. As is often the case along the trail there are various stories to explain the names of mountains. One says a pastor living up here named them another says a solitary priest lived on the mountain at one time and named them. It at first seems unlikely that a protestant pastor would have given these mountains such Catholic names. However to climb up the north east face of the priest is a steep 4000 ft climb. Definitely one of the hardest climbs in Virginia, perhaps he was climbing it on a hot day and thought it rather hellish and so named the mountains.
Even though the weather is pleasant for our hiking the sweat pours off each of us when we are in the ascending mode. I spent a little over $100 in preparing for this year’s hike. That included three new pairs of socks. Bo only brings two pairs of socks on the hike and wears each pair twice. I also bought a water bottle with a built in filter. This year there has been no shortage of water but I have been carrying 3 liters of water which is about twice what I have carried previously. Water weighs about two pounds per liter. I also have sweat wicking T Shirts. These shirts are designed to draw the sweat away from your body and evaporate it more quickly. This is supposed to keep me cooler and dryer. The other thing is a dry shirt is significantly lighter than a wet shirt. A regular cotton T shirt weighs one half pound dry but a wet one weighs three times that. Plus they don’t dry out overnight so the dirty laundry just increases the pack weight. The wicking shirts seem to really work.