Glasgow to Waynesboro – Completely FLAT!
Glasgow and Waynesboro are two very hiker friendly towns – and therefore, hard to escape. Free camping, friendly locals, hiker boxes and FOOD! Well, every town has food, but usually you have to eat it and beat it. Here, not so.
The climb out of Glasgow was monstrous. And just like all but one day in the past couple of weeks, the air was hot and stagnant. No breeze. Hot and humid. Imagine a tall and slick waterfall, where the rocks appear to be coated in glass as clear water pours down their cascade polished surfaces. That was sweat coming down my face and body. Not so majestic after all.
However, nothing beats the feeling of finishing such a climb, especially when you’re greeted with a slight breeze and an eyeful of downhill at the peak of a mountain. That particular peak, Bluff Mountain on Virginia’s Blue Ridge, also offered up a bit of history. There’s a memorial marker there that reads, “This is the exact spot Little Ottie Cline Powell’s body was found April 5, 1891, after straying from Tower Hill School House Nov 9, A distance of 7 miles, age 4 years 11 months.” Just in case we were feeling happy and satisfied, this plaque, and some billowing gray clouds that appeared to be wafting toward us, made sure to take us down a peg. Wicked bummers. It has been said that Little Ottie still haunts Punchbowl Mountain Shelter, 1.6 miles onward. Naturally, to see the ghost and race the rain, we stayed there that night. No sightings to report.
The following day had an equally hot and miserable climb of over 2,700 feet on to Bald Knob. However, it was broken up with the best Trail Magic I have ever had – Mack Daddy’s grandfolks brought cocktail shrimp to a pass on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we have been criss crossing for about 100 miles. COCKTAIL SHRIMP. I probably ate more than my share, but I was outrageously thankful for it.
Despite this and other Trail Magic (PB&J sammies!), Quiet Diet and I realized we were quickly eating our way through our snacks. We did back to back 22 mile days, which I am proud of, but also sore from, one of which had – guess what – a 3000 foot climb downhill and climb! A popular phrase you here in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee is, “Don’t worry – Virginia’s flat.” I can’t imagine anyone who actually hiked Virginia being able to say this with a straight face. Furthermore, tons of folks have been yellow blazing this section. No judgment – in fact, I get it. If I wasn’t purist trash, this would be on my list of, “Uh-uhs,”
I’m running out of time on this computer, so I’ll quit my belly achin’ for now. I have to say I am super excited to leave the Blue Ridge Parkway and hit Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park. I always hear that this section is great for yogi-ing (i.e. scoring snacks, pop, and other goodies from day hikers) and that we pass many little campgrounds with stores and delis. Knowing this, you’d think I wouldn’t have packed 7 days of food – especially since the next town I intend to stop in is only 4 days away. Alas, the grocery store is my happy place, and the gratification of over-buying food must be checked and balanced by the over-encumbering weight of my pack. But no need to worry – Virginia’s flat!
FB Tee Corley
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