A few days ago our expedition passed the quarter way mark. That’s over 550 miles. We were really excited about it, but there hasn’t been any place to celebrate it. The trail in Virginia is supposed to be flatter and faster traveling than further south, but the towns and resupply opportunities are fewer and less interesting. We have been putting in some long miles and enjoying the milder weather at lower elevations.
Here are some glimpses of our week of hiking north of Damascus:
Wild ponies near Mount Rogers. The ponies were released there to keep the highlands grassy. This area was historically used for grazing cattle, but now it’s a recreational park, presumably for grazing boy-scouts, of whom there was a veritable army, using every available shelter and tent site.
The view from Chestnut Knob. The trail in Virginia sometimes follows a level ridge (like those seen here) for miles. We thought that a six mile section would be a piece of cake, but it turned out to be entirely made of rubble. It was one of the most excruciating days we have had.
The best for last! We found seventeen morels on our longest day yet (almost 24 miles.) I looked down at a pair of them right on the trail, so we stopped for half an hour to scour the area. Anne found the next one and we kept on from there. They went into the best Ramen we have ever eaten.