Damascus to Marion, VA
Damascus, not what you might think.
I was so happy to finally reach Damascus until I actually got to Damascus. Every one had said it was a small town, I come from a small town so that’s fine with me. However when I got there what I found was a lot of closed storefronts. And not a lot In the way of a place to eat. Pizza and a local diner were the only choices.
I made due just fine however and even enjoyed some coffee and conversation with some of the local business owners. Who currently are very upset because of a new zoning law that effects mostly hostel and B&B owners.
Anyway The first night in town all reasonably hostels were full the owners of the Broken Fiddle even though full still made an effort and allowed me to stay on the couch for free.
I zeroed the next day and did my resupply and the following morning left town for a few days walk to Marion.
Heading into the highlands
The first part of the trail out of Damascus was very nice trail easily walked with some great scenery along the way. That all changed as I got closer to the Grayson Highlands. Then the path became a jumbled mess of rocks and small boulders. These continued throughout the highlands making my knees and ankle hate me. The hike through the highlands was also plauged with multi directional winds between 30-40 miles per hour and temps in the low 30’s. I completed my day by stopping at the Wise Shelter. While getting my water I did happen to finally see a deer finally. I have been waiting since March 3rd to actually see wildife while on the trail.
The next morning things got even better for me. As I was breaking camp I had another visitor, that made my morning and possibly the rest of my day. One of the wild ponies from the highlands wanted to be my friend and follow me around while I got ready to go. He even ended up walking out of camp with me when I left. The pony then joined his other 2 friends around the corner as I hiked on.
The following day I made it to the Mt Rogers HQ and thumbed a ride into Marion. Unfortunately I will have to wait until tomorrow to get my resupply drop and then after getting that and mailing home some gear, I will be off again on my next AT adventure. I will use the time here to ice my very swollen ankles and knees. I’m looking forward to this next couple of weeks hopefully the weather will be decent and without snow. We have seen enough of that already as you have probably already heard.
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