Southern Virginia with a Win!

For weeks, I had heard that the trail gets easier in Virginia. Leaving Damascus, I was more than ready to experience that easier trail. Truth be told, the ascents and technical trail sections continue well into southern Virginia. The trail doesn’t get that much easier; you simply become a smarter and stronger hiker. That process for me has been the most significant challenge of the trail.

Even after taking a zero in Damascus, I was nearing my mental limits as I approached Marion. My zero in Marion was a milestone. First, Marion is a class act and a town that I want to revisit. Marion Outdoors; the Merry Inn Hiker Hostel; Downtown Pioneer; and the many shuttle drivers all deserve a shout out. I heard nothing but positive comments from my fellow hikers who visited other businesses as well.

Leaving Marion, I bumped back to my departure point, Fox Creek, and made my way north. After spending the night at the Hurricane Mountain and Partnership shelters, I started my southern Virginia hostel tour. I had nothing but great experiences at the Long Necck Lair Alpaca Farm, Burke’s Garden Hostel, Weary Feet Hostel, and Wood Hole Hostel. The on-trail experiences are always notable. But, it is the off-trail experiences with other hikers at the hostels that I’ll remember for years to come. I have met some incredible people.

I stepped off the trail in Pearisburg for a trip home. I needed to see my family. I’ll be back get back to the trail on May 13. This time, I’ll be SOBO out of Harrisburg.

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