Full Speed Ahead

As you can see, we’re about a month behind due to limited trail access, however it’s nice to hear from Jack. He’s approaching Harper’s Ferry, the unofficial half-way point. Will post more when available.

These notes begin when I let him off out of Damascus, VA. He stayed another night at the Apple Tree Bed and Breakfast where we had stayed. If you are ever in this town, I would recommend staying here! Debby and Les were wonderful Christian people (she was a retired nurse, and he had been in full time mission work in south Florida). The food was wonderful and they went out of their way to make us at home.
Elaine

April 5, 2008 Summit Cut to Damascus, VA (16.9 miles)
Back on the trail today after a 2 day rest break with Elaine. She dropped me on the AT north of Damascus this morning and I slack packed back to town. The day was overcast, but the predicted thunderstorms did not occur in my area. There was beautiful scenery along multiple streams. The AT ran near the Virginia Creeper Trail. This was formerly a railroad (the Virginia Carolina Railroad) which has now been converted to a bicycle path. Many people were out enjoying it today. On a sad note, the young lady thru-hiker who played the banjo has left the trail because of a severe ankle injury! Her companion Melty, now trail name Neck Beard, is continuing his hike. I’ll shuttle back to Summit Cut tomorrow and hike north with a heavy pack.

April 6, 2008 Summit Cut to Wise Shelter (16.2 miles)
Today was a long hard day with a 3500 foot climb (2 mountains) and lots of rocks, roots, and mud. On the good side of things, I hiked for a while with a Christian minister – “Preacher” – whom I enjoyed. This afternoon I made the summit of Mount Rogers (5650 feet) and went into the Graystone Highlands State Park where there are lots of feral (wild) ponies. They ignored me while I made pictures (below). Tonight I’m at a shelter with “Jake” a young thru-hiker from Ohio. I plan another long day tomorrow.

April 7, 2008 Wise Shelter to Dickey Gap (16.1 miles)
Today was an unusual day. I was up early and had beautiful hiking weather. My intention was to hike 20 miles to another shelter. By 4:00pm, I knew I needed to stop to give my legs a rest. I hitch-hiked and was immediately picked up by D.H. “Harold” Roberts of Sugar Grove, VA. When the place I intended to stay was closed, Harold drove me to the Sugar Grove Diner, a nice little restaurant, with apartments upstairs. I’m in one of the apartments (2 BR, kitchen, LR with cable TV) for $40! I’ll have dinner and breakfast here before going back to the AT. The proprietors, Peggy and Allen (below), have been so nice.

This was an answer to a hiker’s prayer.
-Traveler

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