Kaylee and I took advantage of a gorgeous weekend to head out to do a backpacking trip up to Mt. Pleasant in Vesuvius, VA. It's near where Route 60 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway. There's a short drive up a rough gravel road. Though there were plenty of regular cars at the top it was nice having the clearance in the Forester. We arrived around noon on Saturday and hit the trail with packs on. The trail makes a 5.5 mile loop. Mt. Pleasant is about half way in and an extra half mile off the loop. Our plan was hike up to the peak, camp the night, and continue the loop the next day. It amounts to about 3-4 miles each day. This is Kaylee's first backpacking trip. She carried her own gear (sleeping bag, clothes, water, etc.). I carried the shared items (tent, food, stove)
A 3 minute movie Kaylee and I put together. Not surprisingly it's mostly walking.
For those of you who like photos and captions.
I've run the 5ish mile Mt. Pleasant loop a few times as part of the Mountain Masochist 50 miler but I've never been to the summit. It's much prettier in the summer when everything is green. I've only run it in November when everything is brown. Mt. Pleasant isn't Rocky Mountain tall, but at just over 4000 feet it's one of the taller peaks in the area. The view is most definitely worth it. There is an east side and west side of the ridge, each with a convenient rocky outcrop with splendid views.
We camped on the ridge of the western side. There were quite a few spots to drop a tent. Our two man tent restricted our selection a bit but we found a nice rock free spot. A group from DC came through after we set up and joined us on the ridge. They were a pleasant bunch and invited us to their camp fire for Smores (which we accepted much to Kaylee's glee).
A 180 view from the west summit. Above the grey rock on the right hand side of the photos is a bald spot on the distance mountain saddle. That's part of the Cold Mountain loop - another 5 mile loop that's a sister hike to the Mt. Pleasant loop. The Appalachian Trail runs along that ridge.