This past week I’ve marked North Carolina & Tennessee off the state list and entered into Virginia. Yesterday I passed mile 550 which means I’m 25% complete with the trail.
The highlight of the first section in VA was definitely Grayson Highlands, just past Damascus VA. It’s a lot of rocky, treeless mountain balds with beautiful views and wild ponies. The picture is me trying to feed a carrot to one of the horses. Only one out of several were brave enough to come up to me and take the carrot out of my hand, he was probably used to so many hikers passing through his territory.
I also passed the infamous ‘Partnership Shelter’ near Mt Rogers State park headquarters. This shelter is famous among thru-hikers because it is by a road where you can order delivery pizza. Doesn’t sound too exciting to normal folks who could order pizza any day of the week, but to carb-starved AT hikers, we build the anticipation of this night stop for a whole week beforehand. Imagine a group of ravenously hungry people who’ve had nothing but exercise and granola for the past four days…it was a food fest for sure. People were challenging each other to how many slices they could eat ;)
I also had a visit from Christy who arrived with cupcakes for all my hiker friends in Marion VA. We toured the area together for the day which included a visit to the VA Settlers Museum and – a first for me – a drive-in movie theater!