Day 49: Rap Battles and Creeper Trails

Hairspray Rap Battle 

I slept hard. I woke up at 6:30 with the song, Good Morning Baltimore, stuck in my head. Why? I had a dream where a town was divided in war. The dream took place on the front lines. Nobody was physically fighting. Instead, it was a rap battle. A vicious rap battle. To the tune of Good Morning Baltimore. The moment a peace agreement was made, the people started singing the actual lyrics to Good Morning Baltimore. It was a parade of people walking through the streets singing it. Then I woke up. Weird trail dreams are a thing.

I saw the time and immediately began packing. I figured the others were up already. They got up once they heard me. We wanted to be at the Damascus Diner by 8:00. I finished packing in under thirty minutes. I waited around for a little bit, before deciding to start. My upper ankle sprain was really getting to me, so I needed to hike slow.

Everyone quickly passed me. Fine Young Buck stuck around and he told me that his Presbyterian friends were happy to hear that he was still hiking with the P.K. (a.k.a the Pastor’s Kid. If you know, you know).

An Ode to the Rhododendrons

He walked on and I continued alone. I kept passing rhododendrons and thought of Kea. He has an absolute hatred of them. He can’t wait to stop seeing them. Sweeper is not a fan either. I love them. They are reliable, strong plants. I don’t fear them falling on me during high winds. They provide shade and/or a cool tunnel. Plus, the leaves are great for funneling water.

Welcome to Damascus 

I was quickly in town. I entered into a neighborhood and passed a park that had numerous signs that said ‘no camping’. I wandered into the downtown and saw Fine Young Buck down a street. I walked towards him and was informed that we were there before they opened. I sat down and waited. One local kept pulling on the door saying that they are usually open right at 8:00. It was 7:58. She did it four more times. It was an interesting study of human behavior. 

They opened and she ripped the door open. We walked in and immediately sought out a charging port. We plugged up before sitting down. We ordered and Kea kept trying to use words that my generation and younger use. ‘Bourgeoisie’ (however you spell that) and ‘slay’ were used. Apparently, I have become the teacher. Fine Young Buck is up to date with all these terms because… well… he’s Fine Young Buck. It’s just his character to know these terms. Kea and Sweeper have no clue and it’s hilarious hearing them say them out of context.

The Outfitters and Groceries 

Our food arrived and we chowed down. I was really hungry, but wasn’t able to finish. Fine Young Buck looked like he was going to lick his plate. We left once 9:00 hit. The outfitter had just opened. I stopped first by the pharmacy to look for compression socks and didn’t find any I needed. I went to the outfitter and didn’t find the socks, but got a sticker and a small cork ball for my feet. It was about time I got one.

Our group was on a mission and we took off for the grocery store. We walked a part of the Virginia Creeper Trail to get there. We were quick to get food and got out. From there, we headed to the only hostel in the area that allowed us to take showers and do laundry without staying the night. We showed up to the Broken Fiddle and was able to shower quickly. They had an outdoor shower and I was all in. I got some loaner clothes and threw my dirty clothes in the laundry. 

The Broken Fiddle

It took a while. We just lounged around. I dug through the hiker box and found an awesome pair of pants. They ended up replacing my fleece camp pants. I was so happy! I love digging through the hiker boxes. I did so at the outfitters and found some free food. By 2:30, the laundry was done and we were packed up. Fine Young Buck put his just clean underwear in the hiker box because they didn’t fit him anymore. He mentioned to me that he put them in there and I rushed to grab them. They are Exofficio. A nice brand – so I have heard. I have hated my underwear from the start and have been bemoaning about getting a better pair. I never did. I was close to buying some wool ones from Amazon, though. I took them and now they are mine.


Fine Young Buck and I were going to eat at some popular chicken place whereas Sweeper and Kea planned to continue hiking. They were looking at a site almost six miles away. I wasn’t looking forward to it because of the elevation gain. We were walking and I was looking at the map. We were hiking on the Creeper Trail and our planned campsite was on the Creeper Trail. Two and two connected and I yelled at Sweeper and Kea, who were ahead, to wait up. They did and I pointed out that we could just avoid the pointless up and down by just sticking to this other trail. They were happy with that. Ranger, who was behind us said, “This looks serious.” I pointed out the easier way and he said he was glad that we were doing it because he was considering it. He ended up doing it.

We split up once again and Fine Young Buck and I headed to the restaurant. Fine Young Buck ordered some mozzarella sticks and shared. The main course for me was a salad. With spring mix. Exactly the type of salad I’ve been wanting since I’ve started hiking. The bowl was full, but wasn’t mixed. I asked the waitress for a bigger bowl, so I could toss the salad. She came back with the same size. I ended up putting the two bowls together and shaking them. The salad was nicely tossed and dressed. Fine Young Buck got a laugh out of that.

Virginia Creeper Trail 

We ate quickly, conversed with an older couple who asked if we were thru-hiking, and parted ways. The moment I was on trail, I said I needed to pee. The problem was, the trail was right on the side of the road. Fine Young Buck jokingly gave me grief over it. I found an okay spot and did my business quickly. I walked up to Fine Young Buck and he said I was done quick. Most people say that. We then began a conversation about bathroom habits regarding men and women.

One of several bridges we crossed over. I believe the Virginia Creeper Trail used to be an old train route.

The entire way to the campsite, we talked. He said Grey Beard, who ended his hike today in Damascus, said, before we left, “Enjoy hiking with your daughter.” That’s not the first time I’ve heard that. Most ask and we say we have no relation to each other. But it’s quite common. My parents always ask about him and my sister seems to constantly ask, “So, how’s your second dad?” Pretty soon, the two of us will get a trail name. I can just feel it.

The Campsite

Before long, we got to the site. Sweeper and Kea were already set up. We talked about possible campsites for tomorrow before I went to set up my tent. There wasn’t much room available. The ground was full of roots. The tent wasn’t setting up right. I noticed Duck, another female hiker, and asked where she was camped. She was picking up firewood and she said that her and Ranger were not even 100 feet away at a larger and flatter site. Fine Young Buck and I picked up our stuff and relocated.

Unexpected Trail Magic 

I set up quickly and joined Ranger and Duck at the fire. We talked, grabbed some water, and talked some more. A couple came by and asked if we were thru-hiking. We talked about the trail and the guy, trail name Fixer, handed me forty dollars because ‘you look trustworthy’ and said once we got to Marion, pizza was on him. We thanked him and then he and his wife left. None of us were expecting that. 

Duck at the fire.

We conversed some more and I went to hang up my bag. I found a nice tree and it took me one time to get it up. More talking ensued. I was getting tired, so I retired to my tent. I listened to the others as I relaxed.

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Comments 3

  • Holly : May 18th

    I love knee high Rymora compression sleeves, I get them on Amazon, 19.00. they stay up all day. As soon as opportunity avails itself, be sure and measure your calves so you can order the right size. Maybe a town with a sporting goods store or send a pair ahead?
    Consider purchasing light colored or bright colored so you can spot tics.
    Have fun!
    PS when folks say ” if ya know ya know”, that’s cutting some people off, and out, of the communication. 🤔

  • Holly : May 18th

    I wonder if Voltaren gel would help with shin/ankle pain. ♥️

  • Tricia : May 19th

    Praying for your ankle! One, that it strengthens and heals, but also wisdom on how to care for it properly.


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