Friday, 21 May
|Destination: Pinnacle Shelter||Today’s Miles: 6.8|
|Start Location: Barclay’s Run Shelter||Trip Miles: 31.2|
Bob and I were up early but in no real rush since we had a short day planned. After coffee and breakfast, we were hiking before 7:30. Even though we knew it would be warm we were looking forward to a day with no to road walking.
The first two miles of trail made us think about road walking but not for long. The Tuscarora Trail is not used as heavily as the trails in our previous hikes. We have only seen two day hikers on the trail in four days. This section was not well with worn or maintained. Much maintenance was put on hold last year because of Covid. Our first two miles were like bushwhacking. That is where you go through the woods without a trail. Fortunately, there were just enough blue blazes to keep from getting lost. Bob did see a coyote on the trail.
The trail improved but became a long slow climb, not too steep but warm with the temperature around eighty. There were a few short boulder fields thrown in for fun.
After about six miles we came to a waterfall. That seemed like the right place for lunch and to soak our feet. The water was so cold that your feet hurt. It was wonderful. We washed off and refilled our water.
When we crossed Laurel Run, we decided to carry some extra water in case the spring was far away or not too good. A half mile after the waterfall we were at the Pinnacle Shelter. I flushed a grouse checking the area and also found four lady slippers. Lady slippers are wild orchids and not very common. These were past their peak but still a nice surprise. I have not seen them in years. There were no tent sites near the shelter and the guidebook noted that Pinnacle Camp in another half mile was at 2,300 feet and “always has a pleasant breeze under the hickory and oak.”
On the way to the campsite we were treated with a beautiful view from the top of Pinnacle Ridge. Areas for our tents and even the advertised breezes which we are enjoying. No rain flies on the tents again tonight. Little chance of rain and warmer than last night.
May have heard our first cicadas. A loud sort of noise that starts and stops. Guess we will find out tonight.