Appalachian Trail Day 2
Cow Camp Shelter to Seeley Woodworth Shelter
We leave camp about 8:30 the next morning. Our boots are damp but our socks are fresh and dry. This matters because of the risk of blisters. Today’s hike will take us up over Cold Mountain (Not the one in the book.) and through Hog Camp Gap and Tar Jacket Ridge. We begin with a 700 ft climb to the summit of Cold Mountain. The summit of Cold Mountain along with Hog Camp Gap and Tar Jacket ridge are one of the few places along the trail in Virginia that are mowed several time a year in order to maintain the pasture look they had at the time the trail first crossed them. In reality most of this area had been fully cleared by 1900 and the forest we currently see is new growth. It’s great to walk in the open and it means there is an abundance of black berries along the trail to provide second breakfast and then even a snack after lunch. I eat my berries as I pick them but Bo has this obnoxious habit of filling his hand with berries and walking on. It is called differed gratification. As he walks in front of me eating his berries I consider tripping him with my walking stick so I can take his berries but I manage to restrain myself. This area is called Hog Camp Gap because they used to bring the hogs up here in the early fall so they could fatten up on acorns and chestnuts.
There are lots of birds, butterflies and wild flowers in the meadows as well as a great breeze. We also cross the remnants of a stone wall several times. The guide book reports that this wall is a total of 12 miles long which indicates its owner and builder was probably a significant land owner. It is unclear exactly when in the early to mid 1800’s it was built.
We take our afternoon break at this amazing tree that has grown on top of this rock.