The many faces of Shortoff

11/24/18

Glen, Issac, Christopher And I

It rained the whole drive up to Shortoff. The closer we got the more ice There was on the trees. There were about 5 cars at the trailhead. We started up the trail and I couldn’t tell if it was still raining or the ice was melting on our heads. There were so many trees that were bent over the trail full of ice. It was very foggy also. There were no views going up the trail. Half way up there is a beautiful view of Lake James that I look forward too. Not today, it looked like this:

It was also cold. I purchased a Patagonia Nano jacket and I swear this lightweight jacket is so warm! If only I had a hat because my hair was wet and my head was cold! We saw a couple guys coming down from camping. I thought the worst was over they should stay but I’m sure it was miserable since it rained the last 20 hours.

The first lookout rock was wet cloudy and damp. The clouds had just enough breaks in it to get an idea where we were.

The higher we got the lower the clouds were. The second lookout rock showed even more of the Gorge!

We were shedding layers now and most of the ice was melting fast. We stopped to take a break.

I think the boys thought we would turn around here but we kept going and it only got better! We could see the sun coming through the clouds.

We were walking along the trail towards table rock and sometimes when hiking I don’t look up for a while. When I did the sky was blue the sun was out and the clouds put on an amazing show!

The original plan was to walk to Table Rock but the rain put us behind so we walked till about a mile from table rock. We had a great view of it from here.

Unfortunately because of the time change and the late start from freezing rain we couldn’t continue in that direction. We turned around and headed back toward the trailhead. This trail is a great hike. I think this is my 4th or 5th time and it’s one of my favorites. Basically after you get to the top you walk along the ridge line as far as you want to go.

We stopped at Shortoff #3 and sat for a bit while admiring the views. The clouds were so low it really was amazing!

The clouds were moving so fast. I took a great video of it passing us.

Well now on the way down I can show them the great view of Lake James.

The ice had melted and the trail down was like a small river.

Then we were back at the trailhead. Shortoff is great. Next time I’m going all the way to Table Rock.

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