In early October, our new friend Sue G. hiked with me from Crabtree Meadows to Spy Rock, looking for an alleged new trail which turned out not to be.  A lovely hike anyway.


Holly’s friend Cate and I hiked the old Hotel Trail in the George Washington National Forest in Amherst County, which loops around through abandoned  orchards and then first ascends Cold Mountain and then gradually descends across the inclined plateau with gorgeous views in all directions.  Early fall colors were in evidence.











click on images above for panorama views along the summit plateau

In late September, German visitor and hiking companion Hasse and I climbed both Spy Rock and Humpback Rocks in a single half day!






On a separate early fall hike, I joined a friend for 15 or so miles who was at the end of the day just 20 miles short of completing the entire Appalachian Trail (which is 2200 miles long)!  The forest colors and views were beautiful, but the highlight of the day was when we encountered a mother bear and her cub, who promptly scampered up a tree.  Mom kept a careful eye on us, but was not aggressive.

It was interesting to see my friend, who has hiked the AT in sections over several years, keep running into AT through hikers that he had met months earlier.