Saturday, July 30th, Mt. Rogers, VA was a wet place to be. In the nightime darkness lit up by phosphorescent mushrooms, i started from the Old Orchard Appalachian Trail trailhead, on the northeast side of the mountain at a little under 3500′. A short 1 1/2 walk took me to the AT shelter there, where there were the standard AT luxury accomodations. (flat space, creek, privy, disgusting shelter) Along with the luxury accomodations came the bonus of 5 people talking and laughing loudly past midnight. The next morning, starting in thick fog and ending in sunshine, i completed the ~14 mile loop by hiking up the AT to the Pine Mountain Trail, rejoining the AT and the Mt. Rogers summit spur, then descending via AT, Crest Trail, Lewis Fork Trail, Cliffside Trail, and the Old Orchard trail back to the AT. I’d call this route very worthwhile for its variety, though i can see how someone with less time and craving nonstop views would rather start from Grayson Highlands. Highlights of my route were Pine Mountain, with its rock formations (and potential primo tent sites on open highlands), the fog lifting to show the highlands from the Crest Trail and its resulting fresh breath, seeing the wild ponies from the Lewis Fork Trail (though they weren’t all that wild…they seemed to want to be petted), a perfectly ripe blueberry grove near the top of the Cliffside trail (along the trail, though it may be a week or so before more blueberries are ready…burp), and fascinating mushrooms of otherwordly variety lower on the mountain. Good route for a dayhike, or for camping atop Pine Mountain. I crossed paths with other hikers only on the top portion of the AT. Not a memorable summit or shelter.