Monday, November 16, 2015

Sun 11/15 - 21.5 mile hike

US522, Front Royal, VA to Ashby Gap US 50/17 21.5 miles

We decided to do a 20+ mile hike today. In the Appalachian Trail Guide, it's exactly 20 miles from US 522 to US 50. We dropped a car at US 50/Ashby Gap and drove down to Front Royal, US 522 (Mountain House) to start the hike.  We started at about 8:30am, and finished at 4:20pm, 7:50 of hiking.  Our hike was a little longer than the AT guide because we took a side trail in Sky Meadows State Park to an overlook near the end of the hike.

This hike was not very difficult from a terrain and trail perspective.  There were some long steady climbs, but nothing too steep and the trail was in really good shape. Not very rocky like the last 5 miles of our hike last Sunday, thank God. Had the trail been rocky and difficult like last week, this 20 mile hike would've been brutal.  This section of the AT wasn't very scenic and although I'm glad we did it, and did a "big miles" day, I'll check this section off as "done" with no real desire to revisit it.  There's just too many other sections that offer great overlooks, falls, streams, etc.  This one really didn't have much of that at all (main reason we took the mile-long side trail to the overlook at the end of the hike.

Our general hiking pace was probably 18-19 mins/mile, then add in lunch, food, bathroom breaks, and that put us at a 22min avg pace. Our splits were:

5 miles in 1:40  20 min pace
8.5 miles 3:00  11:40am stopped for lunch
10 miles in 3:36  21:36 pace
15 miles in 5:33 22:12 pace
20 miles in 7:20  22:00 pace
21.5 miles in 7:50  21:52 pace

I weighed 174.0 this morning after eating a lot at the thanksgiving reunion yesterday. Tried to eat a lot on trail today and after the hike we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant (Del Rio) and then I ate a bunch of cereal for dessert. No idea how many calories. It was  a lot, but also burned a ton on the hike.

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