Still in Virginia

This morning we are camping behind Tren’s Grocery somewhere near Bland, Virginia. It’s just before dawn and it’s cold out, so I prefer writing in my blog to getting up. Ian’s tent is still dark. 

I have to take back some of what I wrote in my last blog post. In it, I implied that we were getting very unappreciative of the mountains and the views. That was before we hit McAfee Knob or the Dragon’s Tooth or the huge rhododendrons tunnels. It was before we spent a night at Woods Hole Hostel. We learned that we can still be wowed. 

 

Sunrise on McAfee Knob

  

Sitting on McAffee Knob

 We decided to hold up at the Campbell Shelter right before McAfee Knob, and then ascend before dawn to watch the sunrise. This was the middle of the week and we thought we would be the only ones up there. It must have been rush week at Virginia Tech. Because we were surrounded by frays and sororities. That did not take away from the beauty of the sunrise or of the early morning view. We hung around until most people were gone, and then got moving south. 

 

Dragon’s Tooth


 
We hit Dragon’s Tooth the same day. This was a pretty interesting climb. There were quite a few rocks to work your way over. They were steep and some had iron bars to give you a makeshift ladder. It definitely reminded us of Maine. The Dragon’s Tooth itself is a pretty interesting rock formation. 

  

 

Rhododendron tunnels

 
After that we continued our trek south for several days along the Virginia/West (by God) Virginia border until we reached Pearisburg. This was our next milestone in Virginia, and a resupply point. We’ve decided to take resupply wherever we can to keep our packs as light as possible. So we didn’t pick up much and head for the Woods Hole Hostel. This was a great experience. 

 

Woods Hole Bunkhouse


 
The hostel is run by Neville and Michael year round. Neville helped her grandmother run it when she was younger and continued after her grandmother died. They offer accommodations, plus a family style dinner and breakfast. Everyone helps prepare and cleanup. Almost all of the food we ate came from their farm. 

We still have 130 miles left in Virginia, so I’m expecting a few more awesome surprises.  We got one surprise when we woke up this morning. We had a interesting neighbor last night. 

Our camping companion

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Comments 6

  • Avatar
    Reboot2016 : Oct 24th

    I stayed at Wood’s Hole last summer. Incredible place. Plan to stop there on my through hike next spring!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Dennis : Oct 24th

    Okay, so I am 69 yrs old but in excellent shape. Right now I can easily hike 10 miles a day. I have the desire to get up every morning in the woods and hike another 10-15 miles through rain, snow or sunshine. I want to hike the AP……..the problem is that my wife thinks I will get eaten by a bear and most of my friends and family think I am nuts to even make the attempt. I am retired so taking six months out of my life is not an issue. The clock is running and life is shorter than it used to be. I don’t want any regrets when I am sitting in a rocking chair in a local nursing home. I would like to hear from other hikers, especially in my age group, so I can make a valid judgement on hiking the AT at my age….

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Montana Summers : Oct 25th

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      Reply
    • Avatar
      Yolanda Mooe : Oct 26th

      Dennis, I’m a woman and I’m 71 yrs young! I also walk 10 miles a day. On March 15,2016 I will be Hiking the AT as a thur-hiker!! My first ever hike! Yes, I’m scared but I’m going to do it!!! Bears or no bears!! I’ve been reading any and everything on the AT. My husband passed away last year and wanted to hike it, so I’m taking his ashes. Come join me!
      My trail name is Dancing Rain, my husband used to call me that, I love the rain and I love to dance!
      Good luck hope to see you there!! I plan to reach the end in 5 months and on my birthday, 72 yrs!!!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Arlene (Eveready) : Dec 13th

    Yolanda and Dennis: I completed thru hiking the AT August 7 2015 (NOBO). I am 61 and can attest to how wonderful it was, how your body becomes stronger as you hike. This was also the first time I back packed for more than a weekend! You need not be worried about bears, I did not see any during the 151 days on the trail. If you make noise, the bears avoid you. These are my key recommendations: clean hands to avoid getting sick, always treat your water, travel as light as possible (below 30 lbs) so you do not wear out your joints, wear knee braces to protect them on the descents (I had Cho-Pat braces that encircle the knee caps), use poles, and use LokSak to seal your food (the food goes in the Loksak which then goes into a Seal Line waterproof bag that can be hung from bear poles or branches. The LokSak will keep mice at bay as well). Good luck!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Edwin L Mcclannan : May 20th

      Thanks for the recommendation on the Cho-Pats braces… I bought a set for my next AT stint. Hopefully, summer 2017 will have completed Springer thru Fayetteville PA.

      Reply

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