Twig Adventures

AT Day 75: Twig of Pearisburg

Thursday Oct 7th 2021, 0650-1830 War Spur Shelter to VA Rt 100– Pearisburg,  SOBO AT mm 1556.132.4 miles6150 gain, 6900 loss I slept perfectly through the night and woke to the sound of steady rain. It’s really hard to leave a warm, dry shelter for the rain and darkness, so I waited a little later to depart. All There was the first to leave around 6:30 am, so I hoped he’d scare away the coyotes. It was still too dark to see without a headlamp until 10 minutes after 7 am. What a dreary day. Thank goodness for the shelters on days like this. Rain for a week(s) on the AT is nothing new, and the shelter makers must have known[…]

Read more

AT Day 74: VA Blues Can’t Catch Me

Wednesday Oct 6th 2021, 0610-1910 Four Pines Hostel to War Spur Shelter,  SOBO AT mm 1523.733.5 miles7000 gain, 6440 loss I was out the door of the hostel early and walking up to the Dragon’s Tooth in the dark. The fog was very thick and so my headlamp was nearly useless. As anyone that’s driven in fog knows, light beams reflect and scatter. There were some slippery rock slab cliffs to negotiate along the trail. There were decent holds and ledges but long drops into the dark abyss awaited a misstep. I felt like one of those early morning mountaineers making a summit bid, except that it was 70 degrees and I was already drenched in sweat. I caught up to[…]

Read more

AT Day 73: McAfee Knob

Tuesday Oct 5th 2021, 0800-1820Daleville to Four Pines Hostel, SOBO AT mm 1488.626.2 miles5900 gain, 5200 loss I didn’t get as early of a start as I would have liked but I did get most of my chores done. I watched some morning news while I foam rolled…that was enough to get me going, just to escape all the bad news. Crossing a highway with the rush hour traffic was perilous. After that, the trail went up to the ridgelines and things were pretty peaceful. The fog was thick, so I couldn’t see down below but could hear lots of traffic noise and even a construction site. Sound seems to carry well in the fog. Or maybe I just notice[…]

Read more

AT Day 72: Blue Ridge Bliss & Lettuce Club

Monday Oct 4th 2021, 0625-1610 Cove Mountain Shelter to Daleville, SOBO AT mm 1462.825 miles4700 gain, 5300 loss I slept amazingly well in the shelter. Something about the knowing I’d stay dry no matter what made me feel that much more relaxed. I woke to party cloudy skies and an improved weather forecast for the day. I was excited to walk. Several miles passed as the light grew. I love such transitions. Then I found a tree full of chicken of the woods mushrooms. I was 95 percent sure these were the same I had seen at Open’s house. He’d collected them recently but unfortunately I didn’t stick around long enough to try them. Tasha showed me how to identify[…]

Read more

AT Day 71: Campstore Magic

Sunday Oct 3rd 2021, 0615-1910 James River to Cove Mountain Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1437.830.8 miles7800 gain, 6400 loss Despite some traffic noise and an early morning train, I slept very well. A great horned owl and an eastern screech owl provided a nice alarm clock in the morning. I passed a bunch of tents and hammocks in the dark as I set out along Matts Creek. The nearby shelter was empty, which was a surprise given the amount of people camping nearby. The trail began an 11 mile ascent of Apple Orchard Mountain from this point. There were a few little dips in-between but most was up up up. It took me almost all morning to get up this[…]

Read more

AT Day 70: James River

Saturday Oct 2nd 2021, 1200-1910 Rt 60 to James River, SOBO AT mm 140723.1 miles4620 gain, 6000 loss Open had suggested I take a zero to attend a concert he was working Saturday night. This sounded fun but I woke feeling the pull of the trail. The weather was supposed to be nice for 2 more days, then rain much of the next week. I just couldn’t waste a good weather day. Plus, I just like being on trail. Tasha let me borrow her computer in the morning, so I was able to get a lot of blog work done. I worked from 0500 until 0830 am. Yes, this blog takes a lot of effort. I ate some bars for[…]

Read more

AT Day 69: Open & Lexington

Friday Oct 1st 2021, 0605-1200Spy Rock Junction to Rt 60 then Lexington VA, SOBO AT mm 138416.7 miles3100 gain, 4800 loss I hated to leave my perfect campsite so early in the morning but I had places to be. I was meeting my friend Open, who I met on the CDT. He lives in Lexington and had reached out to me before I started my hike, offering help if needed. I sent a box of excess food to his house from Duncannon. But mainly I just wanted to see him again. I first met him at trail days in Silver City and while departing the Gila River. We camped together that night, after a long and lonesome road walk in[…]

Read more

AT Day 68: Premium Breaks & The Priest

Thursday Sept 30th, 2021, 0625-1940 Near Humpback Rocks to Spy Rock Junction, SOBO AT mm 1367.327 miles7350 gain, 6070 loss My extra miles into the night before paid off. The location set me up for a side trip to Humpback Rocks to watch the sunrise. I stepped up to the rocks just as the first red flash was appearing on the horizon. I couldn’t have timed it better had I been planning it. Funny thing was, we had all planned it the day before, only to be foiled by the fog. This sunrise was the best since my 2nd day on the AT, with sunrise over Katahdin. Patches of fog in the valley and fluffy clouds gave this one that[…]

Read more

AT Day 67: In & Out

Wednesday Sep 29th, 21, 0605-1940Calf Mountain Shelter to near Humpback Rocks, SOBO AT mm 1337.516.6 miles3170 gain, 3350 loss All the SOBOs were up early to see the sunrise at a nearby overlook. Problem was, for the first time in nearly a week, the sky was obscured in fog. Mother nature foils our plans again. The 2 couples stayed to have coffee, hoping the fog might burn off. I continued on, having gotten my fill of sunrises from the previous 2 days of road walking. Heading down from the foggy meadow in the gloom of early morning, I came to a confusing trail intersection. I followed white blazes, then was amazed to end up right back at the top of[…]

Read more

AT Day 66: On the SOBO Train

Tuesday Sept 28th, 2021, 0615-1830 Hilltop Hut to Calf Mountain Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1321.134.6 miles!7220 gain, 7700 loss I got a smashingly good start on this morning. It was a quick downhill to the first road crossing, where I elected once again to walk the road. The trail went off in the trees while I watched another sunrise across the valley from an overlook. These were plentiful all morning. I was also entertained gazing into and over the lush forests. The road allows one to see the canopies at times, as well as the forest floor. I couldn’t get over how vibrant these forests seemed. Some leaves were just starting to turn but overall, everything was so very green. I[…]

Read more