|Hike Name:||Chimney Rocks - George Washington National Forest|
|Trip Date:||March 24, 2008|
|Trail Conditions:||Fair to Good|
|Trip Weather:||Cloudy, Fog|
|Trip Precipitation:||Showers, Sleet|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 41-50, Low: 21-30 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||My fiancee and I arrived at the North trailhead of the North Fork Mountain Trail around 5pm after driving from Maryland, with the intent of setting up camp around 7pm, before dusk. Before leaving the car, we performed our ritual pre-hike "chowdown"--consuming egregious quantities of yummy but relatively unhealthy snacks and other foods. We left the car around 5:30, hoping to find a nice campsite, but expecting to pitch our tent on a bed of sharp rocks complete with pit vipers. After some moderately strenuous switchbacks, the sun started to sink and we had yet to spot any likely tent-pitching sites. My excellent (I swear) fiancee thinks she sees a likely clearing about 50 yards from the trail, so we wade through brambles to reach a spot overhung by quintain-like branches and at least a couple of protruding boulders. We pitch out tent, but then she asks "What about bears?" In the car, we had decided that a bear canister would not be necessary, as it was too early in the season to worry about them. Now, I'm obligated to place our food in one of our packs about 50 feet from the tent, as this is our best solution in our present circumstances. We decide that if it rains, one of us would go bring the pack into the tent. Lo and behold, it rains, I leave my comfy sleeping bag to freeze my butt off getting the pack, and to make a long story short, I get my sleeping bag zipper caught like a mofo, subsequently spending half the night cold.
Next morning, we hike to Chimney Rocks and venture to each rocky overlook, enjoying nice views before fog and sleet roll in around 9am. We get back to the car around 1pm, and take off.
All in all, not a bad short camping trip to get back in practice.