Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Practice Hike #2: Dobie Mountain

Practice Hike #2 (Dobie Mountain) turned out to be another fun time with great views and company!  Originally, Di and I were planning to skip this hike to see Jimmy Buffett in Virginia Beach... but somehow we ended up in the woods of the Shenandoah instead!

A morning on the AT
Our morning started with a kick-off meeting led by Kim and LaDonna from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Corey, our guide from Blue Ridge Mountain Sports.  During the pre-hike meeting, Bez shared a testimonial about her son's battle with CF-- he was diagnosed at age 9 when doctors tried to figure out why he only weighed 45lbs.  Her son has his good days and his bad days, but he's 23,  graduated from George Mason University, and will be hitting the trails to practice hike with his mom in a couple of weeks.  When I hit my wall on 'hike day,'  stories like this will be the fuel I need to help push me towards the end.
Bez sharing her son's story

Thirteen of the twenty-six registered Xtreme Hikers hit the Dobie Mountain trail this weekend.  Our practice group added three nurses who treat CF patients at VCU Medical Center, their significant others, a cousin of a CF patient (who is recovering from a recent ACL surgery), and a guy who wanted to match his passion (hiking) with philanthropy. We have an amazingly fun and dedicated team of hikers!  I wish we had MORE practice hikes between now and September!

The Dobie Mountain hike was a little different than the first practice hike (Mt. Pleasant).  The DM grade was much gentler than MP-- there was more of an elevation gain/loss, but the switchbacks were a blessing on my old knees.  The stretch we hiked was on the AT, and the trails were maintained much better than our previous hike-- no hiking through waist-high weeds this time around.  Even though I preferred this trail to MP, the overlooks were a little underwhelming when compared to the .  amazing panoramas at Mt. Pleasant's summit.  The overcast skies probably didn't help the views either.  Overall, there weren't a ton of sights on this trail, but it was a nice workout and a great way to spend the day.

After our morning in the woods, we took the party to Blue Mountain Brewery for some food and beverages-- craft-brews plus a Jack & Pepsi. 

In two weeks, we'll be hiking Three Ridges Trail... and I'm preparing for hell.  It's 13 miles of unforgiving rocks and hills.  During Corey's pep talk to our team, he told us Three Ridges will "break some egos."  Based on everything I've read...I believe him.
Coming Soon: Three Ridges

If you'd like to support our adventure, please click on the link and donate!  We're HALFWAY to our goal, and we could use your help! :)

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