Norfolk Section from Pomona TH to near Collins Ridge TH

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Norfolk Section from Pomona TH to near Collins Ridge TH

Postby Losfew » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:49 am

Not quite a thru hike, at the end I left the OT just south of CC and continued on the Devil's Backbone trail through Mary's Hollow. After a little orienteering over Low Gap ridge I made it to Amber Spring, which is pretty much in my backyard. I'm hoping to finish the rest of the OT inside the Backbone before spring comes.

I was dropped at the Pomona TH on Friday morning in a heavy mist with temps already in the 50s. The trail was entirely covered with leaves but bore evidence of traffic, hoof prints and manure which quickly petered out, very easy to follow. There were a few spider webs, maybe 1/mi, but no flying insects until I stopped for lunch about 8.5 mi in. The light was perfect, moody and atmospheric. The mist and fog lingered most of the day, wetting down my pack but not soaking through. Approaching each stand of pines gave an almost ominous feeling, as if the trees were absorbing light instead of reflecting it. It was very striking, the pics I took don't do it justice.

I saw no one else the trail the entire 25 or so mi, and only passing evidence of other users. I gathered only a few bits of garbage, except for where the trail crosses some of the dirt roads. These places have accumulations of yard/ shop/ household waste, typical of the neighborhood. The fungi was very visible, lots of LBMs, a few lions mane, some lobsters, interesting for December. I spotted only 2 deer the first day but plenty of pellets, no turkey, but tracks in a couple spots. Dry Creek was not dry, but was passable with only one foot taking a quick dunking.

I managed to keep track of the trail except at point B on map 2. I lefted when I ought to have righted, should have had my head up. It cost maybe 1/3 of mile, not an issue.

I made camp just above the spring that is south of where the trail crosses Hwy 14, about 14.5 miles in. The spring was easy to find and had plenty of water. I found a great level spot in the pines to pitch my tarp, nice and soft. After building a little comfort fire, I dined and hung my bear bag. Then I relearned what really makes winter camping different from summer camping: so many dark hours.

The next day started early to the sound of crickets and peepers, filling water bottles and finding the trail again. The section of trail above Braddock Lake was stunning, with the fog breaking just in time to take in the dramatic lay of the land. Coming down off that ridge was the only stretch of trail that seemed in need of maintainence, with a few trees down and mud bogs that had been widened and deepened by equestrian traffic. I stopped for lunch just north of CC in a gorgeous stand of pines, and then made my way into the Backbone. I was a little unsettled that the familiar and reassuring OT trailmarkers had disappeared, but it was nice to be back in familiar(ish) territory. This part of the hike reminded me why I moved here, the exposed geology of the bluffs, the intimate little hollows, the springs.

Hopefully we'll get another spell of agreeable weather before the bugs come back and I can walk all the way down to the river.
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:34 pm

Re: Norfolk Section from Pomona TH to near Collins Ridge TH

Postby mike » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:32 am

Sounds like you had a good hike. Interesting area, only hiked the area once but want to go back again and do a little more exploring. Thanks for sharing.

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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

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