Virginia Part 1
May 15 – 24
We left Elk Park, TN and spent the next two days working towards Hampton, TN which was our goal to get to Trail Days. We got to Hampton around 3 in the afternoon and the previous night we met up with Jam Session who we hadn’t seen in a while he let us know the he had a ride set up for us from Rock Ocean. The afternoon was spent at Icehouse Saloon were we all waited for Rock Ocean to come pick us up. Rock Ocean is a freelance Photographer and has been riding up and down the trail giving rides to hikers. He drives a cool blue Voltswagen Bus. Like we always manage to do, we were able to fit 8 people and all of our gear in the the VW bus. We got to Damascus, VA late than night which is the home to Trail Days. Prior to Damascus their has been a large outbreak of the stomach flu. Most of my party had to deal with it prior to Damascus, but this time it came around to me. I was tent ridden for the first day of Trail Days, but after that It was great. The next day, Saturday May 19, we attended the parade, went tubing down the river that runs thru the town, got our gear fixed, and hung out with many hikers that we had not seen in a while. They also had a talent show, food vendors and bands playing. On Sunday I left back to Hampton to slack pack. Slack Packing is when you only take the bear necessities eg (a few candy bars and water). I started at 4 in the morning and hiked 34 miles back into Damascus, it was pretty epic because prior to that I had only hiked 23 miles on my longest day. It really helps when we do 20 mile days now because it feels a lot shorter than it did in the past. I spent the next two days hiking to the Grayson Highlands to meet my group. We met up at Wise Sheter. Wise Shelter is a monumental point for us on the trail, it marks our 500th mile which is 1/4th of the trail. The Grayson Highlands are known for their wild ponies and luckily we were able to see them.