May 22nd 2008 7:37 pm
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Tues May 13
Today was a spectacular day of hiking. Sunny and warm! Dad and I explored the Moorman`s River fire road,enjoying a few nice swimming holes and even sunbathing on a warm rock ledge along the way.
We began by descending the North Fork of the Moorman`s river fire road after exiting the Paine Run trail at Blackrock Gap. About a mile down the fire road from Blackrock Gap ,we came upon a few old buses converted into hunting camps. Dad was reminded of the bus that Chris Mccandless stayed in in the movie "Into the Wild". This fire road followed the North fork of the Moorman`s river which was running high and swift due to recent rains. We had to ford it in several places and the current was swift and strong! Approximately 3.7 miles along this trail, we came upon a high waterfall---Big Branch Falls. There are 3 or 4 waterfalls here,the highest of which has a free fall of about 50 feet. The waters of Big Branch were foaming as they flowed to the North fork of the Moorman`s River. Dad and I relaxed for about a half hour here,sunbathing on some warm rocks beside the falls. We hiked onward towards the Charlottesville Resevoir,enjoying a relaxing lunch along the way. Fording the river one last time above the resevoir, we came upon the south fork road and followed that as it paralled the south fork of the Moorman`s River. Here dad and I found a nice swimming hole and dad enjoyed the icy waters while I lounged on a rock. We hiked onward to the Turk Branch cutoff trail and hiked that back up to the AT camping on the AT for night 3. I caught some interesting scents while ascending the Turk Branch trail and was yipping madly for a time!
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