Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Friday Hike: Sharp Top

It's been almost six months!  I've thought about posting almost every day but it remained just a thought and a nagging desire.

I had to do some thinking about why I was blogging.  I guess it's a natural temptation to try and "grow" the blog, get comments and have an audience.  But that's NOT why I started recording my thoughts and activities.  It was primarily for me in order to remember this period of my life and stay in touch with friends and family.

A very wise son told me yesterday that I should "Just Post"; the blogging version of Nike's Just Do It.  Dive in and not worry about trying to catch up.

So here goes.... a deep breath in,
a step to the edge,
and a post....

I'm still hiking with the Friday group through Newcomers but rain and travels have made me miss quite a few recently so I had to stop and catch my breath more times than I'd like to admit and I was sorer than I'd thought possible after the hike to the top of Short Top Mountain.

Without a doubt it was the hardest hike I've done lately.
We're headed up to the top of the mountain on the other side of the lake.  With it's steep little cap, you can see why it's called Sharp Top.  The trail gains 1,500 feet in 1.5 miles and we hiked a little over 6 miles that day by returning along a different route.

When we reached the top there was a stone summit shelter nestled in among the boulders.
I couldn't find any info on the web about who built it and whether it ever served any purpose, but I'll guess that it was another of the many CCC projects that we still benefit from in our forests and parks across the country all these years later.
Once again, I was proud to have a son who works for the NPS which administers this area off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was a hazy day with low clouds but the 360 degree views were worth the aching thighs that plagued me for two days post hike!

The day after the hike, I varied between thinking that I was woefully out of shape or that I was doing better than many my age who wouldn't have even attempted it!
Tonight when trying to research the history of the shelter, I found that in 1815, Thomas Jefferson and two friends climbed Sharp Top with surveying equipment in order to try and estimate the height of the mountain.  Jefferson was 72 and I'm only 59; so that's a little embarrassing, but maybe he rode a pack mule?

I'm a lucky person to live among this natural beauty.....


  1. Those are some gorgeous views. I admit I'd rather "hike" on the back of a horse. Glad to see you're "back in the saddle"😉

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