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72 Mile Massanutten Trail (Virginia - 1.5 hours from DC), March 24-26
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Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
72 Mile Massanutten Trail (Virginia - 1.5 hours from DC), March 24-26 on 03/19/2012 14:37:23 MDT Print View

Reposted from my backpacking google group, just in case anyone else out there wants to join:

I'm going insane. I no longer want to do anything other than backpack long miles. My wife gets back on Tuesday morning and I am committed through Saturday afternoon of this week (due to participation in the Reason Rally). But I really want to backpack Saturday night through Monday night.

I would love to do the 72 miles of the Massanutten Trail in this time span, making it the third year in a row for me. This would entail not only taking off Monday but assuming a full day of backpacking on Monday as well, returning later in the evening. This works out well because the trail head is only 1.5 hours away from DC at the Signal Knob parking area. I don't think I'll be able to leave DC until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, making that evening a late start on the trail and some hiking in the dark. We should be able to hit sunset on Signal Knob, since I'd like to hike the trail counter-clockwise from the Signal Knob parking area.

The split for the weekend is going to look like 12 (Saturday night), 30 (Sunday), and 30 (Monday). The trail is beautiful but with hours like this on the trail it will be a true endurance challenge. My idea of a 30 mile day is moving by 5:30 a.m., pounding out the first ten miles by 10:00 a.m., the second ten miles by 3:00 p.m., taking a "dinner break" and maybe nap, and then finishing the final ten from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Provided one's body complies, this becomes very doable. Usually this amounts to a 3 mph moving pace with a few breaks scattered throughout the ten mile "blocks." With early spring temps, this is the perfect time to pull this off. Lots of maps and detail for this trail, plus I'm very familiar with it. There are a couple long stretches without water but this time of year shouldn't be difficult with water sources and excessive heat.

Weather guess:

So, anyone want to test their body out and do back to back 30 mile days with me, March 24 - March 26? If so, let me know as soon as you can. Since this is late timing and an odd trail request, I'm kind of expecting to roll solo -- but would prefer company.

Zach Bradford
(Spiranthes) - F

Locale: WV
I wish on 03/23/2012 10:29:35 MDT Print View

Ahhh, I wish. I'm currently finishing up my thesis, so it's a no-go for me. I'm actually from Woodstock (ie Woodstock Tower on the trail) and I love that trail.