Damascus, Virginia to Marion, Virginia
Heading out of Damascus we were convinced by the guys st Sundog Outfitters to hit up the Virginia Creeper Trail. Kaveman, Zoltan, and myself headed out around mid afternoon and knocked out about 8 miles or so to a nice little campsite that was on a little island in the middle of the creek. We ran into Angel and Tex that evening and they meet us know the was a little cafe about half a mile up the creeper where we could charge our electronics. We sat up there until about 11pm before heading back to camp and crashing for the night.
The next morning I was up between 7 and 8 and cruised back down to the cafe to cook my breakfast at the picnic tables outside of the building. We hiked on that day and made it up to Whitetop Mountain. It was pretty easy to tell how it got it’s name. The whole mountain top was a complete white out with super high winds. Zoltan and I climbed on top of Buzzard Rock and were almost blown over. We camped that night with the class of college kids that had been out for almost two weeks.
Our next day was a short hike. Kaveman got off the trail at a road crossing to hitch into town to visit a friend that was coming to visit. This was Friday and we were meeting Zoltan’s girlfriend and my cousin Scotty Saturday morning at Grayson Highlands State Park. We camped just past Thomas Knob Shelter at a beautiful campsite with a great view of the sunset and Virginia’s landscape. The next morning we met our friends at Massie Gap in the state park. Zoltan hopped of trail for a couple of days with his girlfriend and Scotty and I pushed on.
We knocked out 8 miles the first day and enjoyed an awesome dinner of steaks over the fire and mashed potatoes. He also brought me a couple of Sweetwater 420s, our hometown brew that I never get out here on the trail!
The next day we busted out 13 miles. Scotty, now called Roots because he planted some sunflowers with seeds he brought from home, was doing a lot better than I think even he expected. We ran into Doc, Billy Goat, Professor, and Thorn at a road crossing and Billy Goat had flagged down a car and sent them on a beer run for him. That was a nice little afternoon break! We made it to the shelter and enjoyed hanging around the fire that night. I was glad Roots was getting a good taste of the thru hiker life.
We had an easy 10 mile push to Partnership shelter the next day. We made it around 3 pm, chilled for a bit and hitched a ride into town with a guy that had been camping around the shelter this season just assisting thru hikers with shuttles and beer runs.
Taco Bell was our first stop in town. It was my first TB in a few years and I killed it. We split a room with Squirrel AT the Travel Inn and were able to take showers. It was my first one in a week so I was definitely ready to get clean.
Having Roots here for this week has been awesome. He’s my family and been my best friend for as long as I can remember. He’s the guy that my backpacking started with years ago. I am glad that out of everyone at home he is the one that was able to come experience this.
We are waiting for the shuttle back to the trail in Marion now. Roots is getting picked up in Atkins so we aren’t in too much of a rush. Can’t wait to see what this next week has in store!
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