Bastian, VA

Made it in to Bastian, VA mile 587 today and am staying at a local dojo, run by TrueBrit a great guy from well Britain.

Trail Days was fun, but was getting old towards the end and I was definitely ready to leave by the end. Tent city was awesome with thousands of hikers camped in the woods. The vendor area was kind of bland with a few gear companies, but lots of people selling junk knick knacks or fair food.

Also I finally crossed the 25% mark. Only another 1600+ miles to go now.

Trail Days in Damascus, VA

Crossing the State Line

I don’t think I will update with such long journal posts anymore, it just doesn’t seem feasible. Instead, I will try and make shorter posts more frequently. Someday, I guess I will transcribe it all, but I do not have the time for that on the rare occasion I find a computer.

I am in Damascus, VA for Trail Days, the largest festival on the trail. A lot of people come and swarm the tiny town for a weekend, with several thousand descending upon the town with only 900 residents.

I was in town last weekend having hiked North to Damascus, but with Trail Days coming up so soon, rather than stay for a week and spend too much money, I had another idea. After running into Maps and DR on Saturday night who finally made it to town, we decided to get a shuttle north a ways and hike back down south. Four of us, me, Smitter, Maps, and DR got a ride for $10 each up to Fox Creek at VA 603 mile 507 on the trail and hiked back 41 miles.

Aside from the constant rain, the trail was nice. We first hiked through the Grayson Highlands where wild ponies run along the trail and try to steal your food. After was Mt. Rogers which was an easy southbound hike, because the trail was mostly downhill this direction. Shortly after, the AT crosses the Virginia Creeper Trail, a really nice bike path following a river on a old railroad bed. There are lots of cool bridges and the trail crosses the river many, many times.

I haven’t been able to upload photos of this section yet, but will when I can.

Roan Highlands

Overmountain Valley

Overmountain Shelter

The Roan Highlands in the Northern part of TN was one of the nicest sections so far. After a long 2700ft climb up to the top of Roan High Knob, the trail follows a ridgeline for many miles and goes over the top of several bald mountains. Roan High Knob Shelter is the highest shelter on the AT and looks like an old cabin, but other than a spruce forest there are no nice views. A few miles after though, the trail crossed a road at Carver’s Gap and everything changed.

 

Me at Overmountain

Jane Bald, Round Bald, Grassy Ridge Bald, Little Hump, and Hump Mountain were great. Few trees, nice trail, and views off in all directions down the valleys. I stayed at Overmountain Shelter next, an old barn converted for hikers. I’d say it is one of the coolest shelters.

Overmountain Valley

Damascas, VA

I got in to Damascas, VA yesterday afternoon, and immediately sat down to a order a large calzone at Quinceys the local pizza place. Got a new backpack yesterday, a ULA Catalyst weighing several pounds less. I have lots of journal stuff to type up if I ever find a computer for it.

466 miles down and a whole bunch more to go.