Daleville and Tinker Cliffs

Day 112

We were excited for town so we got up and out in darkness…which at this point is easy to do as sunrise isn’t until 7:22AM.  We hiked less than a mile into Daleville under headlight and settled in at a coffee shop. We enjoyed some excellent coffee, caught up on our blog and planned our next week of hiking. Eric walked down to the post office to collect some additional items we purchased online (thicker socks, warmer gloves). We also ran over to the Supercuts in the shopping plaza and sheered off some unnecessary inches of hair.

As we were making our next move, Just Jeremy turned up! We hadn’t seen him since Northern Pennsylvania and had assumed he was a few days ahead of us due to our DC vacation but it turned out he was actually a couple days behind us as he had taken time off to see friends. We caught up a bit and were happy to hear he was still in high spirits and loving Virginia as we are. We parted ways and are sure we will see him again at some point in the next few days.

We resupplied our food, checked in to our hotel and caught up on laundry. We rested up and then headed out to a Mexican restaurant across the street. Eric even got to watch some exciting college football games.  Dinner and drinks were great.  All in all a successful day in town.

Day 113

It was nice to have a room to ourselves.  The day in Daleville got away from us as most town days do.  Hours flew by, being off our feet and resting up will be a huge benefit as we head into the final third of the trail.

After breakfast we packed up with food bags overflowing as usual and headed back to the trail.  We always enjoy our time in town but being in the woods feels like home now.  A rain storm was forecasted for this evening so we planned a moderate day and plan to stay in the shelter just north of McAfee Knob.  Hopefully we be able to get a sunrise from this infamous rock outcrop which many consider the most photographed spot on the AT.

The terrain in central Virginia is very tame and hiker friendly.  We enjoy the short, well graded climbs onto the long flatish ridgeline sections.  We take in the views of the green valley below and myriad of colors on the trees.

This terrain allows us to hit cruise control.  We had an encounter with a large black snake yet again.  This time Eric nearly stepped on it.  With colder temps, these reptiles seem a bit more sluggish and don’t slither away as quickly as they did in the summer. We skirted around it and went along our way.

We enjoyed great views from the Tinker Cliffs. These cliffs were made famous during during the Revolutionary War as this is where deserters hid.  The tinkering of their repairs on pots and other various items could be hear throughout the valley.  Nowadays you just hear cows mooing from the picturesque valley below.  We took in the sights then the race was on…we could hear thunder in the distance.  We made it into shelter before the rain started but so had several others.  With the forecast calling for more rain overnight, this will be our first full shelter in long time.  The heavy rain started around 6:15PM and forced us all into the shelter earlier than expected but at least we’ll be dry. We had an early night but we were excited for sunrise tomorrow.

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