Our Accommodations/A Variety to Choose From

Accommodations on the A.T. can be incredibly diverse!  We just hit 4 different types over the past 4 nights.  Let me share them with you:


Alan Neely, proprietor of the Douglas McAurthur Inn with Shrek, Greyhound & Chopper

Easter Sunday – After a short day (6.9 miles) hike, we pulled into the RT. 100 parking lot of the AT between Pearisburg & Narrows.  After a call to our host, they picked us up and headed for Narrows and the Douglas McAurthur Inn where for $70, we got a pair of adjoining rooms, a full bath and lots of room with everything you could need from a hikers perspective in walking range.  Alan Neely is the proprietor and he has an interesting story to tell….I’ll post the web address for you to check the story out (that could be a whole other post!).  He was a gracious host with an award winning handlebar mustache (for real!).  If you want the story, go to www.vatechvsneely.com.

Monday Night – After Mr. Neely dropped us off at the AT trailhead, we continued our journey South 11.6 miles (the climb was a bear and Shrek got off course when he started eating his blackberries).  Monday’s stop was Woods Hole Hostel, a stop that had been highly recommended.  After the 4 Pines Hostel previously, we were anxious to compare.  It’s kind of like comparing wine and beer….4 Pines is the beer and Woods Hole the wine.  Michael and Neville run this 3 generation Hostel and provided a cool bunkhouse and excellent meals.  The table was pretty full and the company was fun with our group, Big Dumb Animal, 52, Old Grouse, Rambler and our host and hostess (there was also a dude from Kentucky without a trail name, who we’ll call Jabbermouth.  We all held hands and once Neville broke the silence, we each identified something we were thankful for.  We had also helped prepare the meals and cleaned up.  It was interesting and everything had its cost.  Walked out $37 lighter….not bad…..but I’m more a beer guy;)


Dismal Falls is not so dismal on the way south to Trent’s Grocery.

Tuesday Night- After a .4 mile hike back up the hill to the AT, we were facing our longest hike yet.  15.4 miles to Trent’s Grocery.  There, they had a store to resupply, a campground and a shower and washer and dryer.  They also served dinner & breakfast!  For $6, we rented a tent space, showered, and I washed and dried a load of laundry.  Dinner was Pizza (2 very different ones for Shrek & Greyhound) and Swiss Bacon Cheeseburger with spicy fries (for me).  The owners (husband & wife) chatted with us before closing the store at 8 p.m.

Wednesday Night – After a very cold night (ice on our tents) and a non-stop barking dog, we used the laundry room and bathroom (heated) as much as possible while getting ready to leave.  Greyhound soaked up the warmth of the laundry room and put some if the clothes shed be wearing in the dryer on high heat (smart girl)
After Greyhound and Shrek ate a quick breakfast, they walked the .5 uphill to the trailhead.  Shrek had ordered my breakfast sandwich and paid for it (thanks Bro!) and I got my large hot chocolate to go with my egg, sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich ($2).  When I finished, I asked if someone could give me a ride and the owner DROVE me the .5 miles to start my day;).   Today turned into a DOOZY…16.2 MILES into Helvey’s Mill Shelter.  It’s another .3 from the trail and ANOTHER .3 to water after that, none of which gets counted into the AT thru-hike mileage.  The shelter is free and tonight I’m the only occupant (unless I’m joined by the ever-present mice) while Shrek & Greyhound tent it.  I hung my tent up to dry and after a full day of hiking, STILL had ice in my rolled up tent (looked like snow).

Today’s hike is History, Tomorrow’s Hike a Mystery.  Right now is a gift, which is why it’s called the Present!

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Comments 6

  • Kathy Conrad : Mar 31st

    Love the updates Bro. I hope warmer weather is in your immediate future! XOXOXO

    • Duke Conrad : Apr 1st

      Hey Sis,

      Keeping up can be a little hectic with spotty service, but we’ve been told that Verizon gets better as we head south! Tonight is supposed to get into the 30’s at our shelter with 30 mph wind gusts. It’s the 1st shelter with 4 walls & a door! Good thing, huh?

      Big Bro/Chopper

  • marir : Apr 2nd

    Love the stories. Sounds like a interesting adventure. Stay warm !

    • Duke Conrad : Apr 2nd

      Thanks Marir,

      Mornings can be brutal at times with frost on our tents and/or having to put on wet hiking gear in 20 or 30 degree temps. Thanks for following and stay tuned for more stories!


  • Jeanne Lagesse : Apr 3rd

    Love the updates! You guys are awesome. Stay strong and keep posting when possible. Wishing you cool days for hiking and mild nights for sleeping.

    • Duke Conrad : Apr 3rd

      Thanks Jeanne!

      I hope to have another post here shortly about our 1st 0 day and 3 days of slack packing. Thanks for following along and thanks for commenting;)



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