When we last left off, we were in the comfort of the amazing Hiker Mom’s house wearing T-Shirts and shorts every day, unfortunately that is no longer the case. We are praying the sunshine will come back out to melt this snow away!
We hiked though Tinker Cliffs and McAfee knob in one day, but it was a cloudy day and about 100 people were up there, so our views weren’t great and we weren’t able to take too many pictures at the Knob that don’t have a ton of other people in the background. It was a great hike though and Buddy really loved talking to all the day hikers about who is is and where he’s come from.
After that we spent three nights at the Four Pines Hostel while we hiked from the Knob, over Dragons Tooth, and into Newport. We really enjoyed being able to cook on a stove at Four Pines and soaking in the heat from the wood burning stove in the morning before heading out. Unfortunately while we were there, there was a couple who had been there for a week already and were planning on staying for another week and a half. It was unfortunate that these people were really rude, didn’t understand thru hiker hours, and acted like they ran the place because it really left a bad impression. We kept going back though because the temperature is dropping and my sleeping pad had a bad leak, so the chance to sleep in a cot with heat versus the cold ground was not outweighed by these not so wonderful people. Also, the gas station at the end of the road has hands down the BEST breakfast sandwiches which are made on these heaven sent biscuits. Being from NY and living in CO, we don’t know about biscuits. We now know, and are considering a move to the south! The last day in the area we ordered two each, and licked our fingers when we were done, and hope to find another place in the south that can compare! After leaving Four Pines, we tented by ourselves at War Spur Shelter then hiked a short day over to the Captains, which is where we were planning to stay that night. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that the last few thru hikers who were there didn’t clean up after themselves at all! There was garbage and left over rotting food all over the back porch which The Captains dogs were having a field day eating, rolling in, and then expelling all over the back porch. Buddy, being the amazing kid that he is, wanted to clean it all up and stay there, but it was getting really late and there weren’t any garbage cans or anything to clean up with. So we decided to just camp in the Jeep, head out early and do a 20 mile day into Pearisburg. It’s been getting so cold lately that even though sleeping on the platform in the Jeep isn’t very comfortable, at least it’s warm and we can all snuggle!
The boys headed out for their 20 mile day around 8am after a big breakfast and lots of Monster Energy drink for Dionysus! I drove around to the road they were going to meet me at, and hiked in 7 miles until I ran into them. About an hour after beginning my hike it began to snow! I couldn’t believe it! It was cold, but I didn’t think it was that cold. It was absolutely beautiful once I got to the top of the ridge, the snow was dumping down, but I was warm. Once I ran into Buddy and Dionysus we took a break to catch some snow flakes on our tongues and have lunch. Buddy loved the snow, and said he wished we could ski down the mountain, but was happy to settle for crunching his boots in it the whole way down. When we got back to the Jeep we were all starving and no decisions about where to stay could be made until after we ate. We came down into Pearisburg and stopped at a Chinese Buffet and ate until we were all deep in food comas. There are few things better than Chinese Buffet at the end of a very long day. We were going to stay at Woods Hole Hostel, but the rooms were full, and we just couldn’t see paying $30 to sleep in the bunk rooms, which are outside, have no heat, and the showers were off. So instead we drove right past it to the trail head and camped in the Jeep again. Comfort was of no concern, after that many miles and pounds of Chinese food, we all could have slept right on the gravel and not stirred till morning. When awoke this morning we were greeted by several inches of snow on the car and the ground. Buddy is ecstatic! He wanted to hop out and make a snowman right away. Once he was fed and bundled up we let him out to have at it!
Were going northbound from Woods Hole to Pearisburg and will probably stay in the same spot again tonight. We are trying to bust out some big miles over the next few days to get to Damascus by Halloween. I don’t think we will quite make it there by then, but we want to get as close as possible. An amazing section hiker, Teacher, has set up amazing Halloween plans for Buddy in Damascus, so even if we aren’t there on the trail, we will drive there for Halloween, then backtrack. Teacher has set up reservations for us at a hostel in town and made reservations for us to ride bikes down the Creeper Trail the day after Halloween. We are shocked and so incredibly grateful for her generosity and planning this for Buddy. The town has a big trick or treating event on Halloween and he is just going to love it!
We are also really excited that once we do get to Damascus another thru hiker we met in Maine named Simple is going to come meet up with us. Simple is a photographer/videographer who is going to come and shoot the rest of our hike and help us put together a movie about our hike and about the amazing Buddy Backpacker! We couldn’t possibly be more excited!