Virginia, Virginia, Virginia
Days 48 to 52 were all above 17 miles, around which I seem to be pretty comfortable now. It feels pretty awesome to crank out an 18 mile day and end ready for tomorrow. Though I have to admit the Virginia terrain helped out too. There would always be a substantial climb down and up from a gap, but then the trail would follow a ridge for 5-10 miles with minimal antics, making for some quick coverage. A lot of the trail through here navigated labyrinths of rhodendron and bridged streams; I loved it. But then some parts too, like the mountain before Pearisburg, felt a bit dull.
In Pearisburg I resupplied and devoured a cheep Chinese buffet. I was stoked to find that JRR Tolkien’s Beowulf translation was released last year, so I had a coffee at Dairy Queen to sit and download it. 5 happened to be there and I chatted for a bit before marching up the ridge.
At the top was a shelter and across from it a grassy bald overlooking what felt like all of Virginia. I set up my tent as close to the ridge as I could. Breakfast the next morning is the photo at the top of the post. But that night was the best sunset on the trail. A bunch of hikers all stood and watched: Karaoke the Bard (he likes to sing), Cliffhanger, Samson the Bear (named after a character from German Sesame Street), Don Vino, and Scarecrow (read me some surreal flash fiction he writes on the trail).
Day 54 went 16.5 miles stopping at a place called The Captain’s. I had to cross a river with a cool (unnerving) pulley system (hiker Copperhead pictured) to get to a porch with some free soda. The Captain wasn’t around.
Next day it rained just as I went over a mountain. I made the best of it and sang American Pie. When I arrived at the shelter a hiker named Skipper was playing a children’s violin he carries with him. Later on he told us about his dream to buy a boat and take out vacationers to pay for it. Lots of people on the trail. Lots of people dreaming about boats, apparently.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.